165 workers at Kober meat processing plant in Cleckheaton test positive for coronavirus

Kirklees Council has given an update to the coronavirus outbreak at the Kober factory in Cleckheaton.

By Ian Hirst
Thursday, 25th June 2020, 10:00 pm
Updated Friday, 26th June 2020, 7:26 am

Kirklees Council has said it has worked closely with Public Health England and KOBER to manage the outbreak as quickly as possible and limit the spread of the virus.

It has been revealed that the whole workforce has been offered testing and 165 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19.

A spokesperson for Kirklees Council said: "The testing is likely to have identified people who had mild illness, or even some not showing symptoms who may have otherwise gone undetected and could have infected others.

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Exterior of Kober Ltd, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, which was temporarily closed due to an outbreak of Covid-19 at the meat packing factory owned by Asda.

"These positive cases are being followed up by the NHS Test and Trace programme and they are being advised to self-isolate for 7 days. Anyone identified as a close contact of a positive case is being advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

"The detection of outbreaks of COVID-19 are now likely to become more common across the country with the introduction of NHS Test and Trace. This case in Kirklees is an early example of this new system being implemented."

The Kober plant in Cleckheaton, which is owned by Asda, was closed after the cluster emerged.

It was confirmed last week after Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Downing Street press briefing there had been a localised outbreak in the Kirklees area.

The cluster is one of a number of outbreaks at meat processing plants in the UK and elsewhere.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Director of Public Health at Kirklees Council, said: "I’d like to thank KOBER for acting quickly and working with us and Public Health England to help manage this outbreak.

“They reopened their factory on 23 June on a reduced capacity and only colleagues that have been tested and declared fit to return are on site.

“We’re satisfied with health and safety measures on site which include separation of colleagues on different shifts and as an additional precaution, checking the temperature of colleagues before they enter the site.

“Our advice to residents is to continue to socially distance, wash hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water and get tested if they have symptoms.

“Providing you have not been contacted and told otherwise, you can continue to leave the house following the latest government advice.”