Dr Emma Fletcher, the director of public health for NHS Tayside, said the increase was expected, with many of the additional positive cases already self-isolating.
“The Incident Management Team (IMT) remains reassured that the factory can remain open at this time as we are in a very different position to when there were COVID-19 cases at the factory last August,” Fletcher added.
“2 Sisters have put in place a number of measures to reduce the risk of transmission within the factory. These have been reviewed regularly and assurance provided by the relevant regulatory authorities.”
Local cases on the rise
Fletcher noted that there had been a higher number of cases of COVID-19 in the local community compared the first recorded cases of the virus at the plant in August, so more workers testing positive was a predictable outcome.
“Many of the cases are likely to have contracted the infection outside the factory setting,” she continued.
“We have built on our experience from the cases at the factory last year and work closely with the factory ensuring full contact tracing is completed for all staff contacts and advice and support provided to employees affected through partner agencies of the IMT.”
Potential cases identified
Contact tracing of the positive cases at the site continues, with more than 80 employees who were working in the areas of the factory that have been identified as having been directly affected now self-isolating as a precaution.
“The IMT is not planning to meet again and NHS Tayside’s Public Health team will keep the situation under close review,” Fletcher concluded.
A number of food and drink processing plants have been hit by clusters or outbreaks of COVID-19 over the past year.
Meanwhile, the UK could face food shortages if key workers in the meat industry are not given priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the British Meat Processor Association.