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Coronavirus outbreak at Norfolk chicken factory as seven workers struck down with bug

SEVEN workers at a chicken factory have tested positive for coronavirus.

Five more are waiting for test results after the outbreak at Banham Poultry in Attleborough, Norfolk.

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Production is continuing at the plant, which processes around 650,000 chickens a week at its 12-acre site.

All seven staff struck down with Covid are self-isolating for 14 days.

The five workers waiting for their results are also isolating as testing of more the workforce of around 600 is carried out as “a precautionary measure”.

Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk, said health officials were “monitoring the situation and taking action” to prevent further transmission.

She said: “We are working with colleagues at Public Health England, the NHS and Breckland Council following an outbreak of coronavirus at Banham Poultry in Attleborough.

“The management team at Banham Poultry has acted quickly to help prevent the spread of the virus and is working closely with us to trace the contacts of those who have tested positive.”

It’s the latest food processing plant to report an outbreak, sparking fears over the spread of COVID-19 in chilled factories.

An outbreak at a chicken factory in Scotland hit more than 150 people with a further 42 positive tests.

The number of positive Covid-19 cases linked to the 2 Sisters food processing plant in Coupar Angus, Perthshire reached 152 – with 134 employees and 18 of their contacts affected.

As a result of the plant’s shutdown, 110,000 chickens will be slaughtered, it’s reported.

Meanwhile, four workers at a medical factory that make products vital in the fight against Covid-19, have tested positive for coronavirus.

Becton Dickinson BD (UK) confirmed the four employees had positive tests out of a workforce of 750.

The firm, based at Roborough, near Plymouth, Devon, said half of the workers who had close contact with the affected workers had tested negative with more results pending.

Banham Poultry managing director Blaine van Rensburg said: “The safety of our staff, customers, and the wider public is really important to us.

“We are working with public health authorities to make sure we are doing absolutely everything we can and following all of the correct procedures.

“The business remains open and operating and we are doing everything we can to prevent the further spread of the virus.

“We have already invested in a range of procedures and protective equipment to keep our staff as safe as possible.”

The processing plant is in Breckland which has just 5.02 cases per 100,000 people, around half the average for for England which has 10.68.

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