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Clarification: No outbreak yet declared at Merthyr meat processing site

  • Categories : Press Release
  • 25 Jun 2020
public health wales

STATEMENT

24 June 2020

Public Health Wales is reminding the public and media that no outbreak has so far been declared at the Kepak Merthyr meat processing site in Merthyr Tydfil.

Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething confirmed on Tuesday that a "small cluster" was being investigated at the plant.

Currently a small number of confirmed cases have been identified at the plant since Wales moved into the Test-Trace-Protect phase of the COVID-19 response. Investigations are ongoing as to the possible cause of the incident, and no firm conclusions can be reached at this early stage.

The multi-agency team investigating the incident includes Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, the Health & Safety Executive, the Food Standards Agency and Welsh Government. Kepak Merthyr is co-operating fully with investigations.

Heather Lewis, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said: “Public Health Wales has not declared an outbreak. We are working in close collaboration with the employer, the local authority, the health board and other partners, and our priority is to understand the potential for transmission of the virus in both the plant and the community in order to prevent further spread.

“We would remind all members of the public, including employees of Kepak Merthyr and their close contacts that they have a vital role in preventing the spread of Coronavirus, to help keep Wales safe.

“They can do this by always observing social distancing guidelines – that’s staying two metres away from others – washing hands regularly, and working from home if they can.

“If you or a member of your household is advised to have a test for COVID-19 you should do so promptly to help control the spread of infection.

“When travelling you should also avoid car sharing with people outside your household, and ensure social distancing on entry and exit from your workplace.

“If you are meeting members of one other household, as permitted by the guidelines, you must stay outdoors and stay local.

“To provide additional clarity, the Food Standards Agency advise that it is very unlikely that you can catch coronavirus from food. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. It is not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging.”

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