PUBLIC health officials have noted that news from the localised coronavirus outbreaks at North Wales factories have been “consistently positive for a number of days”.

The outbreaks in North Wales - centred on the 2 Sisters plant in Llangefni and Rowan Foods in Wrexham – hit the headlines as two of the three food production plants in Wales that saw localised spikes of coronavirus linked to their workforces leaving over 500 infected so far.

Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, gave the latest update in a statement made on July 6.

He said: “The multi-agency team managing the outbreak of coronavirus associated with Rowan Foods Ltd in Wrexham has recorded 289 cases. There continues to be no evidence that this outbreak is factory-based, and the results we have identified are what we would expect to see when a focused testing takes place.”

Whilst no number was given in the latest update regarding Anglesey’s outbreak, the most recent figure linked with the 2 Sisters factory in Llangefni stands at 216.

Dr Shankar said: “The news from Llangefni and the outbreak associated with the 2 Sisters meat processing plant has been consistently positive for a number of days. As the employer resumes operations at the plant, the multi-agency Outbreak Control Team has been reassured by the rigour and robust processes the 2 Sisters management and workforce have put in place to create a safe working environment.

“We are heartened by the positive response from the workforce and the wider communities of Anglesey and Gwynedd. Their support for the testing, contact tracing and isolation phase of our response has helped bring the outbreak rapidly under control.

“Thanks to the combined efforts of local people, the respective councils, health board and wider agencies, the testing phase of the outbreak is now completed, and cases associated and in the wider community have reduced to background levels.”

Dr Shankar says that 2 Sisters Food Group has confirmed to PHW that any untested members of its workforce will not be allowed to return to work at the plant until they have completed a coronavirus test.

He continues: “I am satisfied that the level of infection present in the community as a whole is low. Provided that members of the public continue to follow recommended social distancing, hand hygiene and self-isolation if they experience the symptoms of Coronavirus, then I hope to be able to draw the formal outbreak to a close in the near future.

Dr Shankar’s statement says that the Food Standards Agency advise it is “very unlikely” that you can catch coronavirus from food, adding that coronavirus is a respiratory illness and is not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging.