The manufacturer began mass testing at its Bedwas, south Wales site last week, after six members of staff at the factory tested positive for COVID-19. Members of staff found to have contracted the disease were excluded from the site, along with any colleagues that have been deemed to have been in direct contact with them.
Peter’s has been advised that the tests can pick up existing cases of the virus that may have been in the system for 42 days. As such, these positive results could represent historic cases, as well as any current infections.
The borough of Caerphilly has been identified as a COVID-19 hotspot and was Wales’ first “lockdown area”. Members of staff at the factory live within the borough plus adjacent counties including Rhondda Cynon Taf, Blaenau Gwent Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff where infection rates are also currently very high.
A spokesman for Peter’s said: “Ideally, we do not want any cases but given our location, we would expect some colleagues to become positive. The key issue is then of course control so that others are safeguarded.
“In every case we have worked proactively with the local authority and the NHS TTP team in response to any Covid-19 cases associated with the company.”
The manufacturer said it welcomed the ‘firebreak lockdown’ that has been announced by the Welsh Government as part of its wider national strategy to combat COVID-19.
“The business had developed contingency plans which have been executed and we have agreed mitigation plans with our customers to assist with any disruption that may occur, all of whom have been very supportive, and we wish to thank them sincerely,” the spokesman added.
“Many of them have experience of similar incidents and have shared learnings and best practice to help Peter’s respond to this event.”