Coronavirus: food factory shuts down operations after 80 workers test positive – World News


A food production plant in Ireland has suspended operations after 80 workers tested positive for the coronavirus.O’Brien Fine Foods said it shut down operations at its Timohoe, Co Kildare facility at 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

The company has engaged with the Health Service Executive (HSE) to test all employees after three confirmed cases.

Some 80 workers have so far tested positive for Covid-19, after Ireland’s ‘R-rate’ spiked, which now stands at around 1.8, meaning the virus is spreading.

“Out of 243 completed tests, 80 were confirmed positive for Covid-19. Of the 80 confirmed, the level of asymptomatic infectivity appears to be very high. Today we are completing testing of 42 other employees, ”the company said in a statement. declaration.

“Those who have tested positive have been asked to self-isolate according to official guidelines and full risk assessment and contract tracing procedures are underway. All close contacts of those affected are informed, invited to isolate themselves and to contact their general practitioner.

The Health Service Executive tests all employees of the establishment

The company said it had followed public health guidelines throughout the pandemic, including working from home for all non-operational staff, mandatory PPE, plexiglass screens, work and break schedules staggered, a policy of restricting visitors to the site, a daily temperature check, changes in work practices, communications in five languages ​​and intensive cleaning and sanitation procedures.

“Given this level of stringency and our comparatively low level of confirmed cases so far, this sudden spike is difficult to understand,” the company added.

This comes amid an increase in Ireland’s R rate to around 1.8, which means the virus is spreading.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chairman of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modeling Advisory Group, said: “We have seen a significant increase in the incidence of COVID-19 over the past week.

“The virus’s reproduction number is now estimated at 1.8. A reproduction number of almost 2 is a serious concern, and while we have not yet seen a significant increase in community transmission, there is a significant risk that it will develop over the next few years. days and weeks highlighting the need for each of us to be extremely careful not to contribute to the transmission of the virus. “


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