Hate crime incidents are being monitored by police and council staff as the probe into the Covid-19 outbreak at a Coupar Angus chicken factory continues.
A joint statement referenced comments made online about workers at 2 Sisters and their families, with police promising to “investigate every report”.
There are now 68 cases in total linked to the 2 Sisters outbreak, involving 59 staff members and nine contacts.
844 staff have been tested on-site and there are additional weekend testing units at Blackness Fire Station in Dundee and Broxden Park and Ride at the edge of Perth, for workers only.
NHS Tayside, Perth and Kinross Council and Police Scotland issued a joint statement on Thursday evening.
Council leader Murray Lyle said: “Council staff have been out visiting and phoning people who work at the factory, offering public health advice in a number of languages, food deliveries and other support they may need.
“Our colleagues in Angus and Dundee are doing the same for workers living there.
“So far we have carried out more than 300 welfare checks and more than 125 welfare phone calls to workers.
“While this involves a large number of people, there is currently no need for people who may have come into contact with a factory worker to self-isolate unless contacted by public health.
“We have seen a number of comments made online singling out certain groups or nationalities.
“This is unkind and counterproductive. We are working closely with affected individuals and their families to ensure advice is received and understood, and expect all of our residents to show respect for each other.”
Tayside Division Superintendent Elaine Logue urged anyone affected to contact the force and said: “We monitor reports of hate crime and community tensions on a daily basis, as we’re aware of the impact and harm this kind of behaviour can have on individuals and communities. Hate crime of any nature is unacceptable and we will investigate every report.”
NHS Tayside announced on Thursday that anyone living in a household with a factory worker from the 2 Sisters site, including children, should self-isolate at home and get tested for Covid-19 as soon as possible.
Dr Emma Fletcher, Associate Director of Public Health for NHS Tayside, said last night: “We remain in a high state of vigilance across Tayside and we are continuing to monitor all the measures we have put in place to ensure we are doing everything we can to stop the spread of this virus in the community. As today’s figures show, there has been a further increase in positive cases but this is what we expected to see.”
“We would ask everyone in the Tayside area to be extra vigilant in following the FACTS guidance, and we want to stress this in particular for the over 70s, and those who were shielding or in high-risk groups.”
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