‘People are worried’ - Town businesses feel impact after coronavirus outbreak at Banham Poultry
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018
A community is coming to terms with being at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak which has seen a factory partially closed and hundreds of workers sent home.
Banham Poultry, one of Attleborough largest employers, shut its cutting room on Thursday (August 27) as 80 Covid-19 cases were recorded among the workforce.
All 350 staff working in that area of factory have been asked to isolate for 10 days if they return a positive test, and 14 days if their test comes back negative.
The outbreak has come as a huge blow to Attleborough, a town only just emerging from two years of roadworks and controversial social distancing measures at the height of lockdown.
Tim Cobb, owner of The Bakery on Church Street, says a sudden rise in coronavirus cases was the last thing the community needed.
“People are worried,” said Mr Cobb. “I can tell you for certain the outbreak has had an adverse affect on business - customers just aren’t coming out.
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“As a business community we have only just got over the roadworks and the initial Covid crisis, and then this has been chucked at us. I am lost for words, really - what else can be thrown our way?
“I don’t care what anyone else says - this has had an affect on people coming out. You can see more people are wearing their masks all the time, rather than just in shops.”
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On Exchange Street, Sue Shilling, manager at the RSPCA charity shop, said the Banham outbreak had “definitely” affected business.
“Since reopening it has been full-on and constantly busy,” she added. “After the Banham outbreak, donations and footfall have gone down dramatically.
“We were just getting back on track and now it’s going pear-shaped again. People are very concerned and those who are still coming out have not felt comfortable.”
Samantha Taylor, landlady at the nearby London Tavern, said she empathised with punters choosing to stay away from pubs.
“This has obviously been the talk of the town and it has got to be taken seriously,” said Mrs Taylor.
“I’m not expecting a massive impact on business, but I completely understand people’s concerns.
“There are customers who are still not coming back, regardless of Banham Poultry. They’re going out shopping, but aren’t ready to socialise at the pub.”