Three farm workers have broken quarantine rules and left a farm in Herefordshire where an outbreak of COVID-19 has been confirmed. One of those who left had tested POSITIVE for coronavirus.
West Mercia Police Herefordshire Commander, Superintendent Sue Thomas said: “Within the constraints of the current legislation, we continue to support our partners in Public Health England and Herefordshire County Council as they work with the farm owner and those working there to keep them all safe and to provide reassurance to the local community.
“In relation to an individual who has left the site after testing positive with the virus, we are assisting our colleagues at Public Health England, as required, in order to trace them.”
Director of Public Health, Karen Wright said: 'Herefordshire Council continues to deploy the local response in Mathon, in accordance with our outbreak control plan. There are now 74 confirmed cases at the farm. Our focus remains the health and wellbeing of residents while we work to contain and control the spread of COVID-19. We continue to support the farm management, their workers - who form an important part of our local economy - and the local community through this challenging time.
Test and Trace work has been done with those contacts who have been on site in the last seven days. There are three workers who have left the site without permission - one of whom tested positive. Workers who have left the premises have been asked to self-isolate off the farm. We are working with West Mercia Police to ensure they are safe and well, and taking the appropriate public health advice.
Prompt testing has allowed us to understand transmission and control the spread of infection. The risk to the general public remains low and we are confident that this is a contained outbreak on an isolated farm. We follow the data on number of cases in Herefordshire closely, which otherwise remains very low. I would like to remind everybody that it is important to wash your hands, maintain social distancing and to wear a face covering to help protect others.'
220 people at AS Green & Co, based in Mathon near Malvern, have been tested for COVID-19 and 73 came back positive following an outbreak there.
Workers are being asked to isolate on the farm and stay within household groups to reduce the risk of spreading the virus within the workforce, and are being treated as "one extended bubble".