BANANA supplier Fyffes has announced a two-day shutdown of its warehouse in Coventry following a coronavirus outbreak.
Around 30 members of staff at Fyffes have tested positive for Covid-19 at the Walsgrave depot.
All employees at the site were tested for coronavirus since the first cases were reported last week (August 13).
The fruit company has announced plans to clean its warehouse at Cross Point Business Park before reopening on Wednesday (August 19).
Liz Gaulton, director of public health at Coventry City Council, said: “Throughout this process the management at Fyffes has worked openly and cooperatively with us as we have sought the best way to contain and manage this difficult situation. After the increase in positive cases we have agreed a temporary cessation of normal operations is the best way forward to support the business and the food production industry, while also protecting the health and wellbeing of the workforce and the wider public health. Fyffes are implementing a range of additional measures, to enhance the controls they already have in place
“Tackling COVID-19 requires not just the proactive action of workplaces to protect the health of their workforce, but it requires us all to act and protect each other. Washing our hands, keeping our distance from others outside our household, and wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces are as important as ever.”
Dr Mamoona Tahir, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control with PHE Midlands, said: “In light of the number of cases that we had, we took the decision to test the entire workforce. This has identified further cases who have now been asked to isolate.
“We have worked closely with the local authority, Health and Safety Executive and Fyffes to advise on increased infection control measures in the workplace. We are keen to support businesses wherever we can, and public health partners are working hard to support companies to stay in business, while protecting staff and wider public health. In this instance, we came to the decision the best way to control the outbreak was to cease production for 48 hours, to allow a thorough clean of the site and the implementation of enhanced infection control measures.”
A spokesperson for Fyffes, added: “The management of Fyffes Group Ltd is working closely with the Public Health team at Coventry City Council and Public Health England (PHE) Midlands, following an outbreak of COVID-19 among people working at our Coventry facility.
“The safety of all our workers is our number one priority, which is why we have and continue to work with public health officials to arrange testing for the entire workforce. We are temporarily ceasing normal operations for 48 hours to put in place enhanced infection control measures and repeat thorough cleaning of the entire premises. We are thankful for the continued support we have received for our staff members and our business.”