Leeds & West Yorkshire

Coronavirus: Cleckheaton meat factory reopens

Kober in Cleckheaton Image copyright Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Image caption The Kober factory in Cleckheaton has reopened after the coronavirus outbreak

A meat factory at the centre of a localised coronavirus outbreak has reopened a week after it was shut down.

Positive results were confirmed at the Kober factory in Cleckheaton - a supplier to Asda - by Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week.

Kirklees Council and Public Health England (PHE) said it could not yet provide information about the number of workers affected.

Asda said the site had reduced capacity and healthy staff were fit to return.

In a statement, the company said it had worked with Kirklees Council and Public Health England since the site closed on 18 June, and both supported the decision to reopen.

"The site will reopen on a reduced capacity and only colleagues that have been tested and declared fit to return will be on site.

"Those colleagues who are self-isolating will continue to receive full pay until they return to work.

"While Kirklees Council were satisfied with our existing safety procedures, we have introduced some additional measures as a precaution.

"These include separation of colleagues on different shifts and checking the temperature of colleagues before they enter the site."

Image copyright Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Image caption Public health officials said they acted quickly to limit any further potential spread of the virus

Both the council and PHE told the BBC it was unable to provide figures for the number of people affected in the outbreak.

PHE said the council was taking the lead on dealing with outbreak and testing and laboratory processes were ongoing, so it was too soon to provide figures.

The council added it would do so "as soon as possible".

"As we're still testing people we cannot yet give an accurate or reliable figure on the amount of people who have tested positive at this stage," it said.

The outbreak in Cleckheaton follows dozens of confirmed cases at two food factories in Wales.

An outbreak linked to a meatpacking plant in the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany has also led to authorities reintroducing local lockdown measures after more than 1,500 employees of the Tönnies plant tested positive.

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