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Norfolk public health director warns of further coronavirus cases after Banham Poultry outbreak

PUBLISHED: 09:07 25 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:39 27 August 2020

Banham Poultry at Attleborough which has seen an outbreak of coronavirus. Picture: Denise Bradley

Banham Poultry at Attleborough which has seen an outbreak of coronavirus. Picture: Denise Bradley

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The director of public health for Norfolk has warned there could be further cases of the coronavirus confirmed in relation to an outbreak at a Norfolk poultry factory.

Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk's director of public health. Picture: Norfolk County CouncilDr Louise Smith, Norfolk's director of public health. Picture: Norfolk County Council

After testing confirmed there has been an outbreak of the coronavirus at Banham Poultry in Attleborough, director of public health for Norfolk, Louise Smith, said the county could see a rise in cases despite feeling confident it has been caught as early as possible.

Banham Poultry, which remains in operation, will be carrying out further testing on the site today and Ms Smith told BBC Radio Norfolk the council is working closely with the factory and the individuals who have been tested in a bid to protect the wider public.

She said: “What we know is that we have a number of the staff in the factory tested because a couple reported they were unwell.

MORE: First coronavirus death in Norfolk hospital in 40 days

“The factory have identified the people who were close to them in the working lines and the people we think have been in contact, we have asked to have a test and they are isolating at home.

Seven workers at Banham Poultry in Attleborough have tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: Denise BradleySeven workers at Banham Poultry in Attleborough have tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: Denise Bradley

“But because of the numbers and because it is such an important site producing food we are doing more testing to make sure there is nobody in the factory who is unwell.

“We have some things in our favour, the factory was already looking after their staff before the results came through, people were isolating and they have been working with us really closely.

“The second thing that is in our favour is that our NHS colleagues and community nurses are helping and so we are going to take the tests and do the analysis at our local lab in the Norfolk and Norwich so we will get the results faster.

“Those two things make me think we are in a good a place to deal with an outbreak like this as we can be, but we don’t know where it could go and the numbers could go up.”

Dr Smith also reassured the public that there is no risk to the general public while the factory remains open, adding: “we don’t think that people should worry about the food products. There is no evidence that they will get infected.”

But for those who are confirmed to be infected, Norfolk County Council are using the test and trace system to track down anyone who could have been in close contact.


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