Cranswick factory coronavirus outbreak sends Breckland infection rate to record high

Cranswick Country Foods in Watton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Cranswick Country Foods in Watton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A surge in coronavirus cases linked to an outbreak at a Norfolk food factory is a “timely reminder” the virus is still with us says council leaders, following the latest figures.

The infection rate in Breckland has soared to 169.3 cases per 100,000 people in the wake of the outbreak at Cranswick Country Foods in Watton.

New cases have risen daily between October 17 and October 23, with the latter reporting 88 new cases in a day.

The area saw 237 cases in seven days compared with 80 the week before.

On Monday, it was confirmed 140 members of staff have now tested positive.A spokesperson for Breckland Council said: “The recent rise in cases in the district are largely linked with the outbreak at the Cranswick Foods factory in Watton and our operation to test all staff on the site in order to better understand the extent of the cases. We’re working closely with our Public Health colleagues and the site’s management to respond to this localised issue, provide advice to the workers, and have been offering additional testing to our residents in the town.

“We’re also working closely with our district and county council colleagues as part of the Norfolk-wide response to the pandemic. These latest figures are a timely reminder that coronavirus is still with us and it remains essential that people continue to observe social distancing and other guidance to stop the spread and keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”

More: ‘Anxious’ and ‘scared’: Town’s fears after Cranswick Foods coronavirus outbreakGreat Yarmouth and Norwich have also reported new infection rate highs after a slight dip on Monday.

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Covid marshals have been out in both places to speak to the community to try and reduce the rate.

The total number of cases in Norfolk rose by 48pc from 543 to 804.

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In Great Yarmouth, the infection rate has risen to 126.8 per 100,000 people, up from 95.6 for the week ending October 16.

More: ‘People feel reassured by us’ - Covid marshals visiting businesses as cases rise in Great YarmouthIn Norwich, the infection rate rose from 108.1 to 118.8 after 167 new cases in the seven days to October 23.

In the rest of Norfolk, the rate remains significantly under 100 new cases and below the national average of 221.6 cases per 100,000 people.

Broadland has seen the largest rise in its infection rate, from 39.8 to 68.1 per 100,000 people after reporting 89 cases in one week.

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk’s infection rate rose from 35 to 47.6 per 100,000 people and in South Norfolk, the rate increased from 51.1 to 53.9 per 100,000 in the space of seven days.

North Norfolk returned to the area with lowest infection rate, after a decrease in cases in the last week.

The area’s infection rate is now 35.3 per 100,000 people.

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