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Bernard Matthews confirms one coronavirus case, but all other tests negative

PUBLISHED: 11:02 28 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:14 28 August 2020

Fire crews were called to a blaze at Bernard Matthews in Great Witchingham. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Fire crews were called to a blaze at Bernard Matthews in Great Witchingham. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Archant

Meat producer Bernard Matthews said on Friday one worker had tested positive for coronavirus, but there was no evidence of a wider outbreak at its Great Witchingham factory.

Fire crews were called to a blaze at Bernard Matthews in Great Witchingham. Picture: Stuart AndersonFire crews were called to a blaze at Bernard Matthews in Great Witchingham. Picture: Stuart Anderson

It comes after 80 workers at Banham Poultry’s factory near Attleborough were infected with Covid-19, causing the partial closure of the site.

But a spokesman for Bernard Matthews, which is based at Great Witchingham, said its case was isolated and it had carried out 26 tests, all of which were negative.

The individual has not been at work for a week and continues to self-isolate,” they said.

“All contacts have since been traced and have been tested. All results are negative.

“We have worked with Norfolk County Council Public Health to test a further 26 people who work near to our one person who tested positive as a precautionary measure. All 26 were tested and the results were all negative.

“The company has strict Covid-19 measures in place which are closely managed and reviewed on a regular basis. The welfare of our colleagues remains our priority.”

Meat factories have been the centre of outbreaks across the country.

Experts have put that down to cold working conditions, difficulties keeping workers two metres apart and the living conditions of many migrant workers.

See also: Banham Poultry defends safety record after outbreak

Norfolk’s director of public health Dr Louise Smith said: “We can confirm that, on the basis of test results received, that there is currently no outbreak at Bernard Matthews or any other Norfolk meat processing factory, other than at Banham Poultry.

“However, we remain vigilant and ready to act if the information changes.”


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