Coupar Angus residents have been warned to stay vigilant as the number of Covid cases linked to a local food factory nearly trebled in 24 hours.
The 2 Sisters poultry plant closed suddenly on Monday morning after a handful of staff tested positive.
All 900 employees have now been told to stay home and self-isolate.
Health chiefs said that by Wednesday evening, the total number of cases was 29 – an increase from 10 the day before. All infected staff are reporting mild symptoms.
Staff are being urged to get tested at a mobile unit set up by army officers in the grounds of the George Street facility.
Information sheets translated into Polish and Romanian, containing crucial advice and phone numbers, have been distributed to workers.
The papers have been produced by the PKAVS Minority Hub, with backing from Perth and Kinross Council, and tell staff to go to the factory for a test – even if they are not experiencing symptoms – but not to use public transport.
Children of self-isolating staff are still allowed to attend school, as long as the parents have no symptoms and have not tested positive.
Coupar Angus COVID-19 Outbreak
If you work at the 2 Sisters factory, Coupar Angus & are concerned about your health or wellbeing as a result of the #coronavirus outbreak or need more information about testing, please call 0345 30 111 00 or visit https://t.co/3bzkonA9YK https://t.co/8W6xjPGJd9 pic.twitter.com/CzIqTNtRTw
— Angus Council (@AngusCouncil) August 19, 2020
Dr Emma Fletcher, Associate Director of Public Health for NHS Tayside, said: “We strongly encourage all workers to take up the offer of testing to help prevent further spread of the infection in the community.
“The public should be reassured that the plant remains non-operational, however contractors are continuing to attend the site to ensure animal welfare.”
She added: “Our advice to the wider community is to remain vigilant to this infection.
“If anyone is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, they should self-isolate and seek a test.”
At her daily briefing on Wednesday lunchtime, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the latest numbers and said contact tracing was ongoing.
She said: “The factory has been closed down for a two-week period, the 900 workers have been advised to self-isolated and a mobile testing unit remains on site so that the whole workforce can be tested.”
Ms Sturgeon had previously described the situation as a “complex and potentially significant cluster”.
No one from the factory was available for comment. The company has insisted robust measures were put in place to keep staff safe in March.
These measures were checked out by police, who were called to the plant by local residents worried that staff weren’t physically distancing.
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