A meat factory in South Kilkenny is refusing to confirm or deny reports of a Covid outbreak.
Dawn Meats in Grannagh has been linked to up to 28 cases of the coronavirus in a workplace cluster.
In a statement released to KCLR, the factory says it’s implementing all the necessary measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
But a councillor in the area says he’s hearing locally that many families have been affected.
Councillor Pat Dunphy says the workers infected are widespread;
“There’s quite a few from all over the area. Good few from Waterford city, good few from around South Kilkenny. It’s widespread within the area itself. When you have it in an area, hopefully it’s curtailed to a certain spot that they’re in control of. I’m sure the HSE are involved fairly strongly at the moment and that the right actions are taking place.”
Meanwhile, a local GP is reassuring us that the HSE is prepared to deal with outbreaks like this efficiently.
Dr Tadhg Crowley, of Ayrefield Medical Centre, says contact tracers will handle this cluster swiftly….
“There are going to be outbreaks in sporadic areas, so it’s a meat plant today, it could be a school tomorrow or it could be a medical centre the day after. What happens is once there is an outbreak, public health get involved very quickly, contact tracers get involved. Now when I say quickly, it’s within 48 hours that they get really on top of it. They work with the person that’s infected straight away to get their close contacts, but then it goes out very quickly as a lot of contact tracers get involved.”
You can read the full statement from Dawn Meats below;
“Dawn Meats continues to work closely with the HSE and other Government agencies in maintaining its implementation of comprehensive measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Dawn Meats supports the recent mass testing being carried out across all meat processing plants in the country.
The incidence of Covid-19 in the meat processing sector remains low, with the HSE’s mass testing programme confirming 72 cases out of 15,842 tests conducted, a positive test rate of 0.45%.
Whilst we do not plan to publish updates or give commentary on test results at specific plants, where positive tests are identified we will ensure all staff, close contacts, and the HSE and relevant authorities are fully informed. Dawn Meats approach is that any staff member who may be obliged to self-isolate in line with HSE guidelines, will continue to be be paid.
The production of food is an essential service that it is important to maintain, but it has to be done in a manner that deals with the risk of Covid appropriately. We want to thank the health workers who have supported our staff’s health and well-being, and our staff and our farmer suppliers who work daily to produce high quality food for consumers nationally and across the world.”