Workers at Cornish food factory test positive for coronavirus

Workers at a food factory in Cornwall have tested positive for coronavirus.

This afternoon Public Health England (PHE) South West and Cornwall Council said they are aware of “a small number” of confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Pilgrim’s Pride Ltd food factory in Pool, near Redruth.

The exact number of cases has not been disclosed.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation bought Tulip Limited, which had sites in Bodmin and Pool, in August last year.

The cases were discovered as part of the enhanced contact tracing service put in place by Cornwall Council’s public health team.

Anyone identified as a close contact linked to the positive cases will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.

The producer’s site in Pool
(Image: Google)

If you are contacted, you should only get tested if you go on to develop symptoms. Even if you test negative, you must still self-isolate for 14 days.

There will be additional testing taking place on site over the weekend for employees only. These measures are preventative and will provide vital data to help stop the spread of the virus.

Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall Council’s director of public health, said: “We are working with the factory owners, PHE SW and our NHS partners to provide public health advice and help stop the spread of the virus. Employees who need to isolate have already been excluded from work and given support to isolate.

“The business is conscientious in its approach to Covid-19 controls. We have been discussing their ongoing measures to ensure it is safe for staff to attend work as normal. However, if anyone does develop symptoms, which include a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss or change to their sense of taste or smell, they should self-isolate straight away.”

See what happens when you get a covid test in the video below

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A spokesperson from Pilgrim’s Pride Ltd said: “Safety is a condition within our business. Since March when Covid-19 restrictions were first introduced, we have been following government guidelines for food processing sites and we have updated them as and when amendments have been made.

“Furthermore, we have implemented additional measures where they bring benefit including the installation of thermal cameras. We audit compliance of all our Covid-19 controls daily to drive up standards.

“As leading food processing operations, all our sites follow strict hygiene controls including barrier controls and intense daily cleaning regimes.“

“In addition, at Pool the Health and Safety Executive carried out an inspection earlier this week and fed back that they were satisfied with measures implemented on site to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

“We are working closely with PHE South West and Cornwall Council to arrange swab testing for a sample group in one particular area of production before deciding upon the need for any further screening. As soon as we receive test results, we will liaise with health partners to assess whether further actions are necessary.”

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:

  1. Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
  2. Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.

Get a test to check if you have coronavirus

Information supplied by the NHS

Cornwall Live