More than 70 test positive for Covid at Nottinghamshire dessert factory | Business

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More than 70 staff at a Nottinghamshire dessert factory have now tested positive for Covid-19.

It was announced on 7 August that all staff would be tested after 39 cases were detected, but that figure has risen to 72 after 701 employees at the Bakkavor site in Newark were tested. Testing will continue until Wednesday to enable all 1,600 employees to be included at an on-site testing station run by the NHS.

Bakkavor describes itself as the “leading provider of fresh prepared food in the UK” and supplies major grocery retailers in the country. According to Nottinghamshire county council, 33 of the positive cases have self-isolated and since returned to work “fully fit”.

Staff from other parts of the firm will assist with the uploading of data to the NHS portal, and ensure that the completed tests meet allocated courier times.

Shona Taylor, business director for desserts at Bakkavor, said: “We understand the importance of the testing and I have been immensely proud of the management team and all the efforts that have been made to ensure we could deliver this for our colleagues. The programme has been positively received, and colleagues have been supportive and reassured that every effort is being taken to ensure their safety.”

Jonathan Gribbin, director of public health at Nottinghamshire county council, said: “Bakkavor have been very cooperative and we hope that the testing of their employees will allow us to find out more about where people are acquiring the infection.

“However, we know that not all the cases in Newark are linked to Bakkavor, so it is vital that people continue to follow the strict guidance to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 across the whole community. People should follow social distancing guidance in full, including guidelines about car sharing, washing hands regularly, wearing face coverings, self-isolating and quickly getting a test if symptoms develop.”

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