Number of staff testing positive for coronavirus at Welsh chicken factory rises to 75 as public health bosses warn cases will ‘increase further’ over next few days
- The 2 Sisters factory in Llangefni, Anglesey, Wales, were shut down on Thursday
- Public Health Wales confirmed 75 factory staff tested positive for coronavirus
- The first reported case was on May 28, according to the 2 Sisters Food Group
- More than 350 members of staff have given samples, Public Health Wales said
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The number of staff who have tested positive for coronavirus at a chicken processing plant has risen to 75 and will ‘increase further over next few days’, health authorities said.
The 2 Sisters factory in Llangefni, Anglesey, was temporarily shut down on Thursday after a coronavirus outbreak was declared and staff were told to self-isolate.
Public Health Wales said the figure of 75 infections at the factory was accurate, as of 3pm on Saturday.
A chicken factory in Llangefni, Anglesey, Wales, (pictured) was shut down on Thursday after a coronavirus outbreak was declared and staff were told to self-isolate
It said: ‘This number is expected to increase further over the next few days as we continue to process the samples taken from employees… Over 350 members of staff have provided samples so far.’
On Thursday, the 2 Sisters Food Group announced it was ‘doing the right thing’ and would cease work on site for 14 days with immediate effect.
2 Sisters Food Group is one of the largest food producers in the UK, with brands including Fox’s Biscuits and Holland’s Pies, and customers such as supermarkets, KFC and Marks & Spencers.
But the Llangefni site does not supply retail or branded food service customers, said the company.
The company said the first reported positive case at the plant was on May 28.
They added that a full ‘safe ways of working’ action plan had been in place since early March.
Production at the factory, where 560 people are employed, will be transferred to other company locations until July 2.
Dr Christopher Johnson, consultant in health protection for Public Health Wales, said: ‘Testing of employees of the 2 Sisters poultry processing plant in Anglesey at testing sites in Llangefni, Holyhead, and at an existing facility in Bangor, has nearly concluded.
2 Sisters Food Group supplies chicken to retailers such as KFC. But the Llangefni site does not supply to retail or branded food service customers, said the company (file photo)
‘What’s clear is that the system is working as it should – we are actively screening employees at the facility and this is helping us to identify contacts of individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19.
‘The advice for these contacts is to self-isolate to prevent further spread.
‘The aim of the testing is to identify more cases and we’re likely to see an increase in overall cases in the coming days.’
Anglesey County Council leader Llinos Medi said: ‘With a significant number of confirmed coronavirus cases amongst employees – this is a huge priority, not only for us on Anglesey, but for the whole of North Wales.’
This comes amid concerns about how coronavirus outbreaks are announced.
Another cluster in the Kober meat processing plant in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, was confirmed by its owner Asda on Friday.
Also on Thursday, in Wrexham, North Wales, 38 staff at the Rowan Foods factory tested positive for the virus.
But bosses said the cases reflected an increase in the locality rather than a spread within the site.