Covid-19 reported at Norfolk chocolate factory

The Kinnerton factory in Fakenham. Picture: Archant

The Kinnerton factory in Fakenham. Picture: Archant

A Norfolk chocolate factory is dealing with an outbreak of coronavirus. 

Kinnerton Confectionery, which is Fakenham's largest employer, has confirmed that a number of its staff have tested positive for the virus and they were now working with health authorities to contain it. 

Michael Artt, site director, said a testing programme had been carried out on part of the firm's workforce last week as a "data gathering exercise."

Mr Artt said: "With the increase in incidents  of Covid-19 across the region, a small number of our colleagues have tested positive.

"At this moment in time there are no plans to test the whole workforce. 

"Currently we have 15 colleagues testing positive for Covid.

"The welfare of our colleagues is a primary concern and we are in regular contact with those affected to ensure they are supported. We are working proactively with the local public health team and Norfolk County Council who are very supportive of our actions."

The Kinnerton factory in Fakenham. Picture: Archant

The Kinnerton factory in Fakenham. Picture: Archant

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Mr Artt said they had brought in a "wide range" of control measures at the firm's Oxborough Lane factory site, next to the  Aldiss superstore. 

He said: "These include increased hand washing and sanitising, enhanced cleaning, social distancing measures such as physical segregation and one way systems, the use of personal protective equipment and modified shift times to prevent congestion.

"The safety and well-being of our colleagues is our number one priority and we continue to regularly review our protocols to maintain a Covid safe environment."

Latest government data showed there were 66 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Fakenham in the seven days up to January 4, an increase of 20 - or 44pc - on the previous week. 

The figure gives Fakenham a 'rolling rate' of 818.9 per 100,000 cases, which is well above average. The rolling rate for Norfolk for the week up to January 4 was 536.7 per 100,000.

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