NEWS | All remaining farm workers test negative for COVID-19 at farm at centre of virus outbreak

No further cases in farm outbreak

Herefordshire Council and Public Health England (PHE) Midlands have confirmed that all remaining workers have tested negative for COVID-19 at an outbreak on a farm in Mathon, Herefordshire. The majority of farm workers are now able to return to work and daily life- a few workers remain living in self-isolation as contacts of positive cases.

Katie Spence, PHE Midlands Health Protection Director, said: “This has been a significant outbreak, and the first of its kind. We have worked closely with the farm management to support the health and wellbeing of their workforce and wider public health.

“The management at AS Green and Co are to be commended on the way their swift and responsible reporting has helped contain the outbreak on the site and prevented transmission into the community. This outbreak highlights the importance of the need to self-isolate when you know you are COVID-19 positive, or have been in contact with someone who is, especially if you live with other people.”

Karen Wright, Public Health Director for Herefordshire Council said: “This outbreak has been successfully contained by the multi-agency response, the farm management, and the workers based on the farm. We are all learning about the impact COVID-19 has on our health and our economy. This outbreak has helped shape the national workplace guidance, and how businesses can continue to operate alongside a COVID-19 outbreak.

“There is no doubt that without the actions taken by AS Green and Co, this could have been an outbreak on a much bigger scale. I’d like to thank them for all their support to help prioritise the health and wellbeing of the workforce and the residents of Herefordshire.”

A spokesperson for AS Green and Co said: “We are grateful for the support provided by Public Health England and Herefordshire Council to help control the COVID-19 outbreak. The real challenge has been that of those who tested positive, 98% reported having no symptoms at all. We are pleased to say that due to existing and additional control measures, there was no transmission into the local community and all those tested have now tested negative.

“The health of our workforce and our local community has been and continues to remain our highest priority. We have been overwhelmed by the support from our customers, associated businesses within the industry, the NFU and the local community.

“We continue to focus on the harvesting and packing of fresh healthy vegetables for our customers, ensuring consumers can enjoy fresh British produce as part of a healthy balanced diet.”

To prevent further outbreaks and to protect yourself and others, please continue to wash your hands regularly, keep your distance and use face coverings in public spaces, shops and on public transport. Anyone who has a fever, persistent dry cough, or loss or change in their sense of taste or smell should call 119 or go online to arrange a test.