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Coupar Angus chicken factory forced to close after Covid-19 cases rise

A Perthshire chicken factory at the centre of a coronavirus probe has been forced to close after the number of confirmed cases jumped to four.

The Courier revealed on Monday morning that one employee at the 2 Sisters plant in Coupar Angus had tested positive for the virus.

EXCLUSIVE: Worker tests positive for Coronavirus at Perthshire food factory

Now bosses have shut down the George Street factory after more cases were detected.

A spokesman for 2 Sisters said: “Following the confirmation on August 16 of four positive Covid-19 cases at our site in Coupar Angus, we have decided to temporarily suspend operations and pause production on August 17th, which we believe is the responsible action to take.

“Our priority remains the safety and wellbeing of all colleagues, and we will be reviewing the situation closely in partnership with the relevant regional and national Scottish Covid-19 taskforces before we restart production. The facility had previously operated for six months without a single positive Covid-19 case recorded.”

According to a statement issued on Monday morning by NHS Tayside, three members of staff have tested positive and a further two are awaiting results.

There are also two connected cases in the community.

The 2 Sisters factory in Coupar Angus.

Arrangements are being made to test employees. Close contacts are being advised to self-isolate and other identified contacts are being followed up and given appropriate advice.

An Incident Management Team (IMT) is working with the Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland and local environmental health teams to provide advice and support.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the teams were “responding quickly” to the outbreak.

NHS Tayside Associate Director of Public Health Dr Emma Fletcher added: “NHS Tayside Public Health were alerted to the outbreak of COVID-19 associated with the 2 Sisters food processing plant yesterday.

“An Incident Management Team was convened and, working with the factory, measures were put in place to reduce the risk of further transmission of the virus.”

She added: “The people confirmed to have the infection and their close contacts in the community have been identified and advice provided.   Further contact tracing within the factory setting is ongoing.

“Arrangements to provide testing for all factory workers are in process.”

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