A vegetable farm which supplies major supermarkets including Tesco and Aldi is at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak after 73 workers tested positive for Covid-19, while 200 staff have been ordered to self-isolate.
Workers at A S Green And Co in Mathon, Herefordshire, have been tested for the deadly virus, which has killed more than 45,000 people in the UK, after dozens of staff started showing symptoms.
The workers are employed to carry out picking and packing work at the site, located to the south-west of Worcester and east of Hereford, while living in mobile homes on nearby Rook Row Farm.
No workers at the site are being permitted to leave and are receiving the required support on the site.
The farm supplies vegetables to major supermarket chains, such as Tesco, Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Asda and M&S.
Visitors and management team members were also tested and the company confirmed all results to date outside of their site have been negative.
The company has put in place a range of infection control measures to try to reduce the risk of staff being exposed to the virus.
These include supporting testing, promoting social distancing in communal social areas and the indoor packaging areas.
They are also providing PPE for staff where applicable, encouraging regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds and promoting the use of face coverings in closed areas.
The site is still waiting on all the results but 73 positive cases are confirmed so far.
Workers live onsite in mobile homes which all have toilets, showers and kitchen facilities and participants share the accommodation.
Herefordshire Council is arranging food and essential supplies for residents on the site while they self-isolate.
It comes after farmers appealed for people to take up paid roles on local farms to stop food being left to rot in the fields as part of the Feed The Nation campaign.
The owner of A S Green And Co was looking for 100 pickers and 60 packers to join their family team at the end of April, the Hereford Times reported.
In a statement posted on its website, the company said: ‘We confirm that we are working closely with, Public Health England and the Public Health team at Herefordshire Council to support a number of our workers that have tested positive for COVID-19.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Georgia Simcox