A meat factory in Cornwall has confirmed 106 employees have tested positive for Covid-19.
A total of 271 staff members have been tested over the past week, after a small number initially reported positive tests.
This has been done though the company’s own on-site lateral flow tests, local NHS testing and the use of a Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) which visited the site on Thursday on the advice of Cornwall Council and Public Health England South West.
Of the 106 positive cases, the company says 80-85 per cent were asymptomatic. They are all now self-isolating.
Testing is continuing at the site and figures may be subject to change.
Anyone identified as a close contact linked to the positive cases will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service. If you are contacted, you should only get tested if you go on to develop symptoms. Even if you test negative, you must still self-isolate for 14 days.
Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall Council’s director of Public Health, said: “Cornwall Council has worked alongside the factory owners, Public Health England South West and our NHS partners to quickly contain this outbreak, provide public health advice and help stop the spread of the virus. Kepak staff who have tested positive are now self-isolating in line with public health guidance and are being given support.
“Outbreaks such as this are always tough for everyone involved, but we have worked with Kepak and our health service partners in taking quick and robust action to help stop the virus spreading.
“It is also a stark reminder that Covid-19 often comes with no symptoms, meaning people can easily pass the virus on without knowing they have it. I would urge everyone to keep following the government’s guidance to halt the spread of the virus and get a test when required to do so.”
She added: “The situation will continue to be monitored closely so staff can return to work as soon as it is safe to do so. The safety of residents and workers in Cornwall remains the council’s top priority.”
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If you have any of the three main Covid-19 symptoms – a new continuous cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste or smell, you must self-isolate and your household must continue to self-isolate while waiting for a test. You also must continue to isolate until you get your test results.
Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate, along with all members of their household, whether they have symptoms or not.
For more information on the rules and guidance visit www.gov.uk
A spokesperson for Kepak Group said: “Kepak is providing advice and support to any staff member who needs to self-isolate due to either a positive result or being a close contact of a confirmed case. We are working closely the Public Health case review team to ensure that all contacts are identified.
“The Group is working tirelessly to protect its staff as well as ensuring the continuity of secure food supply during this pandemic. All staff members returning to work are following the Company’s COVID-19 return to work guidelines”.