Hundreds to isolate after poultry factory outbreak

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Workers taking a break at Banham Poultry

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The Banham Poultry factory in Attleborough has been partially closed

Hundreds of poultry workers and their households have been urged to self-isolate following a Covid-19 outbreak at a factory, officials say.

Ninety-six staff at Banham Poultry in Norfolk have tested positive for Covid-19, a rise of 21 since Thursday.

So far 477 of the workforce of about 800 people have had tests.

But Norfolk public health director Dr Louise Smith said all staff must self-isolate for 14 days “if they have not tested positive or not been tested”.

“Staff and their households, including children, must self-isolate for 14 days, if they have not tested positive or not been tested,” she said.

“Staff must isolate for 10 days if they have had a positive test result, and their households, including children, need to isolate for 14 days.

“Anyone who has not been tested is urged to apply for a test and more mobile units are being brought in to support this.

“As the relevant regulatory agencies have confirmed the building has been deep cleaned, the company is bringing in a new group of 45 people to continue to staff the slaughterhouse.

“This will ensure that the euthanasing of birds can continue, in accordance with the usual regulations.”

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Banham Poultry has been in business in Attleborough since 1965

Dr Smith said there was no evidence of a spread of this outbreak to the wider community after previously announcing that “precautionary” coronavirus testing had been extended to all staff.

Blaine van Rensburg, managing director of Banham Poultry said last week that the “safety of our employees remains our number one priority”.

“We continue to ensure that PPE is used appropriately by all employees and have teams in place to encourage and monitor social distancing measures,” he added.

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