Banham Poultry outbreak update, 1 September

01 September 2020

Norfolk County Council’s director of public health, Dr Louise Smith, said: “The latest total of positive tests from the Banham Poultry site has risen to 104, out of 769 results returned. This is a smaller rise than in previous updates.

“On current projections, that would give us an approximate infection rate across the whole site of around 13 per cent, compared to the total of 23 per cent we found when we tested staff in the cutting room.

“We are encouraging people who work at Banham Poultry and their households to get tested. This can be done in a number of ways, including by mobile testing units.

““Colleagues from the Health and Safety Executive and Breckland District Council environmental health have visited the factory to offer advice and support to Banham Poultry, to plan for the resumption of all processes in a Covid-secure way.”

Advice for other Norfolk residents:

“If you develop Covid 19 symptoms, or if you have been identified by test and trace as a close contact of someone who has had a positive test, please get tested. Arrange an NHS test via the GOV.UK website.

Partnership response:

County council leader Councillor Andrew Proctor said: “Everyone is playing their part in managing this outbreak and reducing the risk of spread into the community and other businesses.

“I met today with MPs and Government officials, setting out what has been done and what is being done to contain this outbreak.

“In terms of the wider partnership effort, Banham Poultry and its shareholders met with representatives from BEIS and other Government departments, together with New Anglia LEP, George Freeman MP and Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of Breckland Council, to understand the economic impact on Banham Poultry and the wider economy. Banham Poultry has made a request for financial support which will be considered by officials and ministers.

“We have briefed the food industry about the situation and the additional precautions they should take to ensure the continued wellbeing of their staff. We are also briefing recruitment agencies.

“Of course, you can also play your part, by continuing to wash your hands thoroughly, observe social distancing and follow Government rules. I also wish our schools, pupils and families all the best today, as they return to the classroom next week.”

Background, key points:

  • All staff at the plant, plus their households, are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they have not tested positive and for 10 days if they have tested positive – households of those who have tested positive need to isolate for 14 days
  • Additional mobile testing units are being brought into Norfolk, to offer testing to anyone connected to the Banham Poultry site
  • As announced last Friday, staff who are self-isolating are being offered support, if they need it, from the Norfolk Assistance Scheme – including food and medical supplies and hardship fund payments. The number is 01603 223392
  • Contact tracing is taking place to alert anyone who has been linked to Banham Poultry workers who have tested positive for Covid-19
  • The process for euthanasing the chickens is subject to the usual strict regulatory controls
  • Anyone in Norfolk who is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should book an NHS test via the GOV.UK website

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