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Friday, August 14, 2020

Coronavirus: factory staff “works pending test results”

Rowan Foods

Caption of the image

Rowan Foods has been linked to 289 cases

Employees of a Wrexham food factory, connected to a coronavirus outbreak, worked on site while waiting for test results, according to BBC Wales reports.

A worker at Rowan Foods said she worked for ten hours between testing and finding Covid-19.

As of Saturday, the site has been linked to 289 cases.

In a statement Rowan Foods said that the virus “is not spreading on our premises”.

In the meantime, Public Health Wales apologized for the delays in obtaining employee test results.

Rowan Foods workers had previously told the BBC that they did not feel safe in the factory and it was “impossible” to keep a social distance in place.

“Really insecure”

An employee who tested positive for the virus told the BBC’s Politics Wales program that the company had told workers to “get to work until the test results are obtained.”

“I think it’s really dangerous because you don’t know. They might have it [Covid-19] and they could spread it without knowledge. “

He added that the company “put production first for staff well-being.”

Many workers were reluctant to take time off, he said, as they would only have the legal entitlement to £ 94 a week in sickness allowance.

Copyright of the image
Getty Images

Caption of the image

It was claimed that a worker tested on June 22 was still waiting for a result on July 3

Another employee’s partner who was tested on June 22 said he was still waiting for his result on July 3 and was continuing to work in the meantime.

He said the delay was “making us nervous”, mainly because he has underlying diseases.

“We don’t know if he has it or not … I don’t know if he will take it home.”

He also claimed that workers were being abused by the local community.

“It’s not the workers’ fault. They have to fear going to work. It’s disgusting,” he said.

The company, in response to previous claims that it was impossible to maintain a social distance on the site, said measures were taken to protect workers in March.

The virus “does not spread on our premises”

Rowan Foods, following the latest claims, said that “his main concern during the pandemic was the health and well-being of our staff and their families.”

He added that the virus “is not spreading on our premises” and “nobody who has symptoms is authorized to locate”.

“If our site had been responsible for the outbreak and we had put our staff at risk, we would have closed,” said the company.

“Instead we are doing the right thing by our employees.”

The company added that “from June 1, no one will be financially disadvantaged by doing the responsible thing and isolating where required.”

Copyright of the image
Getty Images

Caption of the image

Public Health Wales apologized for the speed of the test results

Public Health Wales said the organization was aware that some employees had experienced delays in obtaining test results “and sorry for that”.

“Those people who have proven positive, even if they have not yet received their results, will have been contacted by the tracers as part of the Test, Trace, Protect process.

“Colleagues from the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will work in the next 48 hours to contact all Rowan Foods people who have not yet received their results.”

Politics Wales can be seen on BBC One Wales on Sunday 5 July at 10:15 BST and on BBC iPlayer.

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