Staff begin to return to work at Banham Poultry

108 staff have been given the go-ahead to return to Banham Poultry following the outbreak of COVID-19 that led to the partial closure of the processing plant.

Workers at Banham Poultry are being encouraged by Public Health and by the management at the factory to get a second test as their periods of isolating start to come to an end this week and they begin to return to work. The balance of staff asked to self-isolate on 30 August will have done their 14 days and will be returning next week

Norfolk County Council’s Director of Public Health, Dr Louise Smith, said: “The latest figures around infection rates of workers at Banham Poultry and the overall average number of cases in Norfolk paint an encouraging picture.

“They show only a very small rise in numbers of infections of workers from the factory and a steadily reducing average number of weekly cases across the county.

“A total of 127 workers at the factory have now tested positive out of 735 individuals tested. A total of 1,860 tests have been conducted across the community following this outbreak, with five household members being identified as positive cases.

“Excluding the known Banham Poultry worker cases, the seven-day average incidence is 6.2 cases per 100,000 across Norfolk. The overall seven-day average daily number of cases, including Banham Poultry outbreak, in Norfolk is 8.7, which is steadily reducing from a peak of 18.3 at the height of the Banham Poultry outbreak.

“The evidence still shows no wider spread in the community, but we continue to monitor this carefully on a daily basis.”

The current overall Norfolk seven-day incidence of cases of Covid-19 is 8.7 cases per 100,000 compared to England with 19.6 cases per 100,000.

A total of 57 per cent of contacts of Banham Poultry workers have now been traced with a further 15 individuals being contacted by Essex and Southend Contact Tracing Service. This shows we are successfully disrupting the transmission of the virus. Multiple attempts have been made to reach all known contacts.

Additional mobile testing units remain in circulation, to offer testing to anyone connected to the Banham Poultry site.

Support is still available to staff who are self-isolating, 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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