Widespread testing of Bernard Matthews staff ends as cases fall

PUBLISHED: 13:51 05 November 2020 | UPDATED: 14:45 05 November 2020

The Bernard Matthews site in Holton, where there was a coronavirus outbreak among staff  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The Bernard Matthews site in Holton, where there was a coronavirus outbreak among staff Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

The widespread testing of staff at a Bernard Matthews site following a coronavirus outbreak has come to an end with no new cases reported.

A mass testing regime was launched at the firm’s Holton food processing facility after cases were identified in September, with Suffolk Public Health and partner agencies working alongside bosses to try and reduce the spread.

In total, 116 positive test results have been confirmed at the site, with employees who tested positive made to self-isolate at home.

Stuart Keeble, Suffolk’s director of public health, said the number of cases has reduced “significantly” since measures were introduced.

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Mr Keeble said: “Today we are at a point where there has not been a new positive case identified on site for over ten days.

“I would like to thank our partners in Public Health England, Public Health Norfolk, East Suffolk Council, Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group and Bernard Matthews for all working together to manage the situation.

“We will continue to support the business from this point to monitor potential new cases going forward.”

Rebecca Hams, consultant in health protection at Public Health England East, said: “Testing and rapid contact tracing is one of the best ways to help contain the spread of Covid-19 in such a setting.

“This can help identify those members of staff that have to self-isolate along with any of their close contacts, which in turn effects the cycle of transmission.

“We will work with our partners to monitor this situation and continue provide support.”

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