Hundreds of workers quarantined in Herefordshire after an outbreak in a farm.
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A virus outbreak in the vegetable farm and packing business that supplies M&S, Aldi and Sainsbury’s in Herefordshire has been locked down. Around 200 workers have been ordered to stay inside the premises, after 73 workers were found to be positive for the virus at AS Green & Co. Many more are still waiting for their results.
The 200 workers will isolate themselves in mobile homes, used by the packers and pickers during harvesting season. The Herefordshire council will be responsible for supplying food and essential supplies to the farm.
The farm spokesman said in a statement, ‘Our staff are our priority, they are hardworking key workers helping us provide food for the country during these unusual times. We contacted Public Health England (PHE) and we are working closely with them and public health at Herefordshire council to prevent the spread of Covid-19.’
Most of the workers are usually from Eastern Europe, but due to travel restrictions, the workers had to be locally recruited. PHE has supplied the farm on-site testing facilities and personal protective equipment (PPE), to try to contain the virus.
The health protection director at PHE Midlands, Katie Spence, said that all 73 people that tested positive for the virus at AS Green, have been asked to self-isolate for 7 days, while those staying at their homes, will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Ms.Spence also said, ‘ As we have seen a global trend of large food producers being subject to outbreaks, as a precautionary measure the decision was made to test the entire workforce. The initial batch of results showed a significant percentage of positive cases, despite these individuals being asymptomatic. We are still awaiting a few final results, but currently we have 73 positive cases of Covid-19 among the workforce.’
She added, ‘PHE Midlands and Herefordshire council are therefore working with AS Green & Co to closely monitor and manage the outbreak and support individual workers.’
On Sunday, United Kingdom reported 650 new cases and 21 deaths. The total number of cases is now 289,603 and There were 44,819 deaths in total.