Banham Poultry partial closure
27 August 2020
The total number of workers linked to Banham Poultry in Attleborough who have tested positive for Covid-19 has increased, and we now have 75 positive cases out of 347 people tested.
As a result of this infection rate, which is at about 22 per cent, Banham Poultry has voluntarily agreed to close part of their site following advice from Public Health England and Norfolk Public Health.
This means that from today, Thursday 27 August, all 350 staff who work in the cutting room area of the factory will be asked to isolate with their households. Those who have tested positive will be asked to isolate for 10 days. Those who have tested negative will be asked to isolate for 14 days. The area of the factory affected will be deep cleaned.
Staff who work in the cutting room were contacted by management at Banham Poultry during the evening of Wednesday 26 August. Those who work in other areas of the plant will be able to continue working and the factory will remain open. If any employee is unsure whether they are affected they should contact Banham Poultry directly.
Norfolk's Director of Public Health, Dr Louise Smith said: "This action has been taken because we believe it is the most effective way to protect the wider public from further transmission. We have carefully assessed the various levels of risk to come to this decision.
"This has been an incredibly tough decision for Banham Poultry, whose management team has worked tirelessly to make arrangements for this partial closure, balancing the protection of the public, their staff and their business.
"I’d also like to thank them for their significant of endeavours in assisting us with contact tracing.
"The management team at Banham Poultry is continuing to work closely with us alongside other colleagues at Breckland Council, Public Health England and the Department of Health. We know the workers live mainly in the Breckland, Norwich, and Great Yarmouth districts. We will be working with partners across the county to support people to isolate."
Dr Smith added: "At this stage in our investigation these cases of infection are in staff who work in Banham Poultry and their households. There is no evidence of increased risk to the general public. The risk of infection from food products is very low."
The advice to people concerned about contracting the virus is to remember the basics. Continuing to wash your hands regularly and practising social distancing is the best way to protect yourself. If you feel unwell, even if your symptoms are mild, you should isolate with your household and get a test.
Tests can be booked by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk. Tests are free and anyone with symptoms is eligible. The symptoms are a continuous cough, high temperature and loss of taste or smell.