Infection rate slowing among Banham Poultry workers as firm asks for financial assistance

A total of 104 workers at Banham Poultry in Norfolk have now tested positive for COVID-19 out of 769 tested.  Norfolk County Council’s director of public health, Dr Louise Smith, said this was a smaller rise than in previous updates, indicating the outbreak was under control. 

“On current projections, that would give us an approximate infection rate across the whole site of around 13%, compared to the total of 23% we found when we tested staff in the cutting room,” she said.

Banham Poultry had brought in a team of 45 outside staff tp continue slaughtering birds while the usual team of workers isolates for 14 days at home. 

Norfolk county council leader Councillor Andrew Proctor Banham Poultry and its shareholders met with representatives from BEIS and other Government departments, together with New Anglia LEP, George Freeman MP and Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of Breckland Council, to understand the economic impact on Banham Poultry and the wider economy. “Banham Poultry has made a request for financial support which will be considered by officials and ministers,” said Proctor.

“We have briefed the food industry about the situation and the additional precautions they should take to ensure the continued wellbeing of their staff. We are also briefing recruitment agencies.

All staff at the plant, plus their households, are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they have not tested positive and for 10 days if they have tested positive – households of those who have tested positive need to isolate for 14 days

Additional mobile testing units are being brought into Norfolk, to offer testing to anyone connected to the Banham Poultry site

As announced last Friday, staff who are self-isolating are being offered support, if they need it, from the Norfolk Assistance Scheme – including food and medical supplies and hardship fund payments. The number is 01603 223392.

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