ENTERTAINMENT

Coronavirus: Four workers escape the Herefordshire vegetable farm


Four vegetable pickers have fled the farm, where 75 people live Work and live on site in trailers that have tested positive for corona virus.

The workers, three of whom tested positive for Covid-19, are believed to have walked across fields near Rook Row Farm to escape the work of the workers A S Green And Co at Mathon near Malvern, Herefordshire tested positive for Covid-19.

After this Mass outbreak yesterday, a As a precaution, a total of 200 employees of the vegetable producers were instructed to isolate themselves.

Two of the farm workers, one of whom had the virus, are said to have left on Saturday, while the other two, who also tested positive for Covid-19, left the scene today, a source told The Sun Online.

Four vegetable collectors, three of whom tested positive for Covid-19, fled after 75 people who worked for AS Green And Co in Mathon, Herefordshire (aerial view of the farm pictured) tested positive for Covid-19

A policeman with a face mask stands next to his car at the gates of Rook Row Farm near Malvern

A policeman with a face mask stands next to his car at the gates of Rook Row Farm near Malvern

A S Green And Co employees were tested after some employees showed symptoms of the error (stock photo).

A S Green And Co employees were tested after some employees showed symptoms of the error (stock photo).

According to the source, the first case was reported to the farm on Wednesday and another five were tested positive the day after.

At the time of the closure, the farm had a total of 72 cases, but has now risen to 75, the source added.

In an attempt to keep the workers, the local authorities are said to hold and offer their passports "safely" & # 39;Beer and cigarettes, ”says the newspaper.

The workers, most of whom are from Eastern Europe, are responsible for picking and packing at the site southwest of Worcester and east of Hereford while living in mobile homes on Rook Row Farm.

After the outbreak, policemen wearing protective masks were guarded guarding the farm's exits, and the Herefordshire Council organized delivery of the supplies.

Workers were also told that they were not allowed to leave the site but were given the necessary support – with officials treating the group as "an extended bladder."

The farm supplies vegetables to large supermarket chains such as Tesco, Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Asda and M & S.

Visitors and members of the management team were also tested and the company confirmed that all previous results outside of their website were negative.

The company has taken a number of infection control measures to reduce the risk of employees being exposed to the virus.

This includes the support of tests, the promotion of social distance in communal social areas and in packaging areas indoors.

If necessary, they also provide PPE for the staff, encourage regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds and the use of face coverings in closed areas.

During the harvest, local workers live in mobile homes, all with toilets, showers, and kitchen facilities, and participants share accommodation.

An official with a face mask is standing at the entrance to AS Green and Co Farm, where employees have tested positive for Covid-19

An official with a face mask is standing at the entrance to AS Green and Co Farm, where employees have tested positive for Covid-19

The Rook Row Farm is currently closed to all visitors and employees receive the support they need on the website, the company said in a statement

The Rook Row Farm is currently closed to all visitors and employees receive the support they need on the website, the company said in a statement

200 workers on the vegetable farm were asked to isolate themselves on site in mobile homes (pictured) after people tested positive for corona virus

200 workers on the vegetable farm were asked to isolate themselves on site in mobile homes (pictured) after people tested positive for corona virus

Workers are asked to isolate themselves on the farm and stay in household groups to reduce the risk of the virus spreading to the workforce

Workers are asked to isolate themselves on the farm and stay in household groups to reduce the risk of the virus spreading to the workforce

The Director of Public Health at Herefordshire CCG speaks in front of Rook Row Farm in Mathon near Malvern

The Director of Public Health at Herefordshire CCG speaks in front of Rook Row Farm in Mathon near Malvern

As a precaution, officials say the entire group is treated as an "extended bladder."

The Herefordshire Council organizes groceries and basic supplies for the residents of the site while isolating themselves.

This happened after farmers in the Feed The Nation campaign asked people to take paid roles on local farms to prevent food from rotting in the fields.

The owner of A S Green And Co was looking for 100 pickers and 60 packers for his family team in late April, the Hereford Times reported.

In a previous statement on its website, the company said, “We confirm that we are working closely with Public Health England and the Herefordshire Council public health team to support a number of our employees who have tested positive for COVID-19.

& # 39; As a precaution, we have arranged to review other key employees, including members of the management team and visitors associated with A S Green, and can confirm that all previous results outside of our website have been returned with negative results. So far there have been 73 positive cases on our website.

& # 39; Our website is currently closed to all visitors. With the help of the various positions, no employees are allowed to leave our website and receive the necessary support on our website.

& # 39; Our workforce and the local community are our priority during this difficult time and we continue to follow the instructions of the relevant authorities to ensure that the spread of the virus is controlled and our workforce is supported.

& # 39; Public Health England points out that Covid-19 is very unlikely to be transferable through food or food packaging, so shoppers can remain confident of buying UK fruit and vegetables.

"Thank you for your understanding in these difficult times."

A man puts on PSA when he arrives at Rook Row Farm in Mathon near Malvern in Herefordshire

A man puts on PSA when he arrives at Rook Row Farm in Mathon near Malvern in Herefordshire

Katie Spence, PHE Midlands Health Protection Director, said: & # 39; We work closely with the management of AS Green and Co to support the health and well-being of their workforce and general public health.

& # 39; At this stage of the pandemic, we still expect cases in the community and in environments where people are closer together, such as B. at work. This is why the test and trace system is important in order to identify potential problems and take quick remedial measures to reduce the spread.

& # 39; To support this workforce of around 200 key employees, the company has taken a number of infection control measures to reduce the risk of employees being exposed to COVID-19.

“The measures include the support of on-site tests, the promotion of social distance in communal social areas and in the packaging area for interiors. Providing personnel with PPE where appropriate, encouraging regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds and encouraging the use of facial clothing in confined areas. "

Despite these measures, a small number of workers became symptomatic earlier this week, and they and some close contacts among workers were initially tested and found positive.

"According to the NHS guidelines, people were asked to isolate themselves for 7 days, while their households and close contacts were asked to isolate themselves for 14 days."

& # 39; Since we saw a global trend that large food producers are exposed to outbreaks as a precaution, the decision was made to test the entire workforce.

The website is still waiting for all results, but has asked all employees to isolate as a precaution (photo in stock).

The website is still waiting for all results, but has asked all employees to isolate as a precaution (photo in stock).

The owner of A S Green And Co was looking for 100 pickers and 60 packers for his family team at the end of April

The owner of A S Green And Co was looking for 100 pickers and 60 packers for his family team at the end of April

& # 39; The first results showed a significant percentage of positive cases, although these people were asymptomatic.

"We are still waiting for some final results, but we currently have 73 positive cases of COVID-19 in the workforce."

"PHE Midlands and Herefordshire Council are therefore working with AS Green and Co to closely monitor and manage the outbreak and support individual workers."

A spokesman for AS Green said: “Our employees are our priority. They are hard-working key workers who help us to provide the country with food in these unusual times.

"We have contacted PHE and are working closely with them and the Herefordshire Council public health to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

The company said Public Health England is pointing out that Covid-19 is very unlikely to be transmitted through food or food packaging (stock photo).

The company said Public Health England is pointing out that Covid-19 is very unlikely to be transmitted through food or food packaging (stock photo).

A S Green And Co specializes in the cultivation of runner beans, tenderstem broccoli, broad beans and holda beans

A S Green And Co specializes in the cultivation of runner beans, tenderstem broccoli, broad beans and holda beans

Karen Wright, director of public health in Herefordshire, said: “Herefordshire is the first to experience such an outbreak, but this is not unexpected.

“Our priority is to protect the health and well-being of all residents in our community. Through quick tests on the farm, we were able to understand the transmission and control the spread of infections.

“We continue to support management, their employees, who are an important part of our local economy, and the local community in this challenging time.

"Anyone who has a fever, persistent dry cough, or loss or change in taste or smell should call 119 or go online to schedule a test."

Herefordshire had 809 confirmed cases of the virus at a rate of 421.1 (per 100,000 population), according to the daily government statistics released around 6pm last night.

The company harvests from mid-May to mid-November and has packaging work in winter

The company harvests from mid-May to mid-November and has packaging work in winter

In April, Andrew Green, owner of AS Green and Co, told The Hereford Times: “The coronavirus pandemic has led to increasing demand for fresh produce, but with stricter border controls and travel restrictions, many UK farmers are facing labor shortages that jeopardize their products . & # 39;

He added: "The role not only offers the opportunity to work in a safe and healthy environment during the summer months, but also enables those who are financially affected by the pandemic to increase their income without jeopardizing the support, that they get through the government’s vacation program. & # 39;

Following the Pick for Britain campaign – an initiative that brings British workers and farmers together to prevent plants from rotting in the soil during the pandemic – the farm said it had received more than 300 applications.

The company's website says workers are expected to share accommodation on Rook Row Farm, while there is a recreational building with a pool table, dart board, and TV for all employees.

A spokeswoman for the National Farmers & # 39; Union (NFU) said: "Industry takes this problem incredibly seriously and everything is done to ensure worker safety. Your health and safety remains a priority.

& # 39; Significant investments have been made across the industry this season. through the use of additional safety equipment and PPE, regular checking of temperatures and compliance with governmental guidelines created specifically for seasonal workers. "

Karen Wright, director of public health in Herefordshire, asked anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 to arrange a test.

"While Herefordshire is the first to experience such an outbreak, it's not unexpected," she said in a statement.

“Our priority is to protect the health and well-being of all residents in our community.

“With quick tests on the farm, we were able to understand the transmission and control the spread of infections.

"We continue to support management, their employees, who are an important part of our local economy, and the local community in this challenging time."

The outbreak occurs after the blockage in Leicester, East Midlands, has been extended by at least two weeks following an increase in coronavirus cases.

The number 10 scientific advisers announced on July 10 that the R rate in the UK is between 0.7 and 0.9.

The R rate represents the average number of people who infected each Covid-19 patient, and SAGE admitted that there were one or more in London, the Midlands, the Northeast, and Yorkshire, the Southeast, and the Southwest could.

A S Green And Co specializes in the cultivation of runner beans, tenderstem broccoli, broad beans and holda beans.

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