A FURTHER 18 staff at Bernard Matthews’ Holton food processing site have tested positive for covid-19, taking the total to 36.

Suffolk County Council said yesterday that 123 workers at the plant had now been tested or were due to be tested, with most returning negative results. About 1,000 people are understood to work at the site in total.

See also: Covid cases found at Bernard Matthews

It is thought that the cases originated in the community, with car sharing identified as one possible route of infection.

Stuart Keeble, Suffolk’s director of public health, said: “The swift and thorough work of our local contact tracers and staff, working alongside Bernard Matthews, has quickly identified these additional cases and we’ve been able to advise them to self-isolation straight away.

Careful management

“This will certainly help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. I would like to reiterate the reassurance I gave on Monday. This situation is being very carefully managed by all the partners working closely together.

A Bernard Matthews spokesman added: “We are grateful for the help of all local agencies and we fully support their objectives to protect the local community.

“We believe a number of cases were initiated in the community, but nevertheless we will continue to enforce our robust COVID measures as we enter into our busiest period of the year.”