Coronavirus outbreak confirmed at Greggs distribution centre in Leeds

27 August 2020, 20:47

Leeds City Council and Public Health England are working with the foot chain to manage the outbreak
Leeds City Council and Public Health England are working with the foot chain to manage the outbreak. Picture: Google Street View

By Matt Drake

A coronavirus outbreak has been confirmed at a Greggs depot in Bramley, Leeds.

Leeds City Council and Public Health England are working with the foot chain to manage the outbreak.

A few workers at the depot recently tested positive for the virus so further testing was taken of all staff, leading to the discovery of more cases.

However, the number of cases is believed to be less than 20, according to reports.

Leeds City Council’s deputy director of Public Health, Lucy Jackson, said: “A number of staff recently tested positive for Covid-19 at Greggs’ distribution depot in Leeds.

"Following further testing, more staff have been identified as being positive. This highlights why further testing and contact tracing is so important which Greggs is proactively undertaking.

“The safety of Greggs staff, customers and the wider community remains our priority and we are working closely with Greggs and Public Health England to make sure any infection is contained.

“The workplace is being deep cleaned and further contact tracing carried out, with necessary advice shared about self-isolating and awareness of symptoms.

"This is a crucial part of controlling the spread of the virus and protecting our community from further infection.

"We are satisfied the necessary steps are being taken quickly to minimise any further spread of infection.

“As the virus is still within our community, we should all continue to keep at least two metres away from people outside our households wherever possible, wash our hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching our face and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ guidance to help keep ourselves and others safe.

“Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms should stay at home and book a test as soon as possible, within five days of the symptoms starting.”

Roger Whiteside, CEO at Greggs said “Following a number of our staff testing positive for COVID-19 at our Leeds distribution depot, we have taken immediate action to implement our COVID response plan and we are working closely with Leeds City Council and Public Health England to ensure that we minimise any possible impact on our customers and the wider community in Leeds and the surrounding area.”

Dozens of food processing plants are dealing with coronavirus outbreaks, with one chicken factory forced to partially close after seeing a rise in the number of positive cases.

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The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said as of Tuesday there are around 40 food processing plants in England, both meat and non-meat, with active outbreaks - but assured that the number "remains very low".

One of those factories includes Banham Poultry in Attleborough, Norfolk, where 75 workers tested positive for coronavirus.

Norfolk County Council said in a statement on Thursday that tests were carried out on 347 members of staff after seven caught the virus.

As a result of the infection rate, which is at about 22%, Banham Poultry closed part of its site following advice from Public Health England and Norfolk Public Health.