Town council leader allays any fears following Banham Poultry covid outbreak

Council leader Carl Smith seeks to reassure residents following coronavirus outbreak at Banham Poult

Council leader Carl Smith seeks to reassure residents following coronavirus outbreak at Banham Poultry factory. Picture: PA/Archant - Credit: PA/Archant

A council leader has moved to reassure residents after a jump in Great Yarmouth coronavirus cases following an outbreak at Banham Poultry factory.

On August 24, 10 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Great Yarmouth, followed by nine on August 25 - the highest daily totals since May 19.

But according to Carl Smith, leader of Yarmouth council, there is “no evidence of increased risk to the general public”.

In a statement, he said: “The workers at the factory mainly live within the Breckland, Norwich and Great Yarmouth districts, and those within the cutting plant have been asked to self-isolate along with their whole housholds.

“Please be reassured that the advice from Norfolk Public Health is that the confirmed cases of infection are in staff who work in Banham Poultry and their households.

Temperature checks are carried out as staff enter Banham Poultry in Attleborough, Norfolk, where 75

Temperature checks are carried out as staff enter Banham Poultry in Attleborough, Norfolk, where 75 poultry processing workers tested positive for coronavirus following tests on 347 members of staff. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 27, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

“There is no evidence of increased risk to the general public, and we are proactively trying to contact and support those self-isolating,”

And, following speculation that many of the workers live in shared accomodation, Mr Smith said there was “no direct link between the outbreak at the factory and licensed HMOs”.

He added: “This is a developing situation, with more information becoming available all the time.

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“However, everyone can continue to control the spread of coronavirus by continuing to wash your hands regularly and practising social distancing.

Banham Poultry in Attleborough, where there has been an Covid-19 outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Banham Poultry in Attleborough, where there has been an Covid-19 outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

“If you have symptoms, you should isolate with your household and book a test.”

In Breckland, where Banham Poultry is based, 12 people tested positive on Monday. The last time there was such a high number of confirmed coronavirus on a single day in Breckland was May 15.The cases have been linked to staff in the cutting room and the area was temporarily shut down on August 26.

Around 350 workers are self-isolating, with the number of confirmed cases rising to 80 as of August 27.

When the outbreak was first reported on Monday, Blaine van Rensburg, managing director of Banham Poultry, said: “The safety of our staff, customers, and the wider public is really important to us and we are working with public health authorities to make sure we are doing absolutely everything we can and following all of the correct procedures.“We have already invested in a range of procedures and protective equipment to keep our staff as safe as possible.”