O’Brien Fine Foods tests 42 further staff with 6 Covid-19 cases detected

O’Brien Fine Foods has confirmed that testing of a further 42 employees today, Friday, August 7, has been completed, with six cases of Covid-19 discovered.

The company noted that, in all cases, the level of asymptomatic infectivity – meaning the person does not show expected symptoms – appears to be “very high”.

Those who have tested positive have been advised to isolate, the company said.

Full risk assessment and contract tracing procedures is continuing, an O’Brien Fine Foods statement said. All close contacts of those affected are being notified and advised to self-isolate and contact their GP.

This comes on the back of an announcement last night that the company had suspended all processing operations at its facility in Timahoe, Co. Kildare, following the outbreak of a cluster of Covid-19 cases.

The statement said that all staff would continue to be paid in full.

The company has also taken the following decisions:

  • Normal operations will not resume for the 14-day incubation period (August 4-18 2020). In consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), the warehousing facility and minimal related operations will function at significantly reduced capacity levels to manage perishable goods;
  • In addition to testing undertaken to date, a further programme of employee testing will be conducted on days seven and 14 of incubation (as necessary). Only those employees who test negative and meet public health guidelines in full will return to work;
  • Upon full recommencement of processing operations, the company will undertake testing of employees at 14-day intervals;
  • To mitigate the risk of transmission, arrangements will be put in place for the safe transportation of all employees to and from work.

The statement concluded by saying: “This sudden spike is difficult to comprehend for all of us. In co-operation with the HSE and Department of Health, we will continue to follow public health advice and take every necessary action to address it.”