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Coronavirus outbreak declared as further cases identified at Wrexham food factory

By Lisa O'Brien | Mid Wales | Coronavirus | Published:

Seventy cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in connection with a Wrexham food factory – with the incident now formally declared an ‘outbreak’.

Last week it emerged that dozens of members of staff at the Rowan Foods factory had tested positive for the virus and Public Health Wales says additional cases have now been identified.

The NHS body says an outbreak of the virus has been confirmed, but evidence so far points to community transmission of the infection, rather than the company being the source.

More than 1,000 workers in the Wrexham area have been tested since Sunday.

Dr Graham Brown, consultant in communicable disease control for Public Health Wales, said: “The testing process is ongoing, and as expected, we have identified additional cases associated with workers from the Rowan Foods Ltd site.

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“This does not mean that the company has been identified as the source of the infection, or that finding additional cases means the infection is increasing.

"However, we are identifying previously asymptomatic individuals that work for Rowan Foods Ltd with the infection.

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“Our investigations are continuing, and I would like to thank the workforce and wider Wrexham community for their swift co-operation with this test and trace process.

"This rapid response is providing vital information to help minimise the further spread of Covid-19 in North Wales.”

The rapid test and tracing programme is being managed as part of a multi-agency response led by Public Health Wales, and Rowan Foods is said to be co-operating fully with investigations.

Dr Brown said incidents like this show the potential for pockets of asymptomatic undiagnosed infection in the community, and highlight the importance of following social distancing and hygiene measures.

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He added: “It therefore remains essential that all members of the public, including employees of Rowan Foods Ltd and their close contacts, continue to recognise the vital role they have in preventing the spread of coronavirus, to help keep North Wales safe.

“Employees who test positive are being contacted through the test, trace and protect process and provided with additional advice for themselves, household and other contacts.

“I wish to remind everyone that if you or a member of your household develop symptoms of cough, fever or change in sense of taste or smell, you must book a test for Covid-19 and you should do so promptly to help control the spread of infection."

He said the Food Standards Agency advise that it is very unlikely anyone can catch coronavirus from food.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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