Walkers confirms 28 factory workers in Leicester have coronavirus

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 21: Multiple bags of Walkers crisps on display in a supermarket on September 21, 2017 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Walkers Crisps has confirmed 28 staff at a factory in Leicester have tested positive for COVID-19.

The company said the rise in infections at the plant in Beaumont Leys, which has 1,400 employees, coincided with increased testing in the city.

It added a track and trace system at the factory had shown the virus did not break out there.

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Leicester goes back into lockdown
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Leicester goes back into lockdown
A person wearing a protective face covering boards a bus on Bowhill Grove in Leicester, where the localised lockdown boundary cuts through. A local lockdown has been imposed following a spike in coronavirus cases in the city.
The Walkers crisp factory in Leicester after the company confirmed that there have been 28 positive cases of Covid-19 at the site.
A worker wearing a face mask at the Walkers crisp factory in Leicester after the company confirmed that there have been 28 positive cases of Covid-19 at the site.
Bowhill Grove in Leicester where the localised lockdown boundary cuts through. A local lockdown has been imposed following a spike in coronavirus cases in the city.
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 01: A man walks past a masked mannequin standing outside a butchers shop in the Birstall area on July 01, 2020 in Leicester, England. Ten per cent of all the recent UKs Covid-19 deaths occurred in Leicester, which became the first British city to be put into regional lockdown on Tuesday night. (Photo by Darren Staples/Getty Images)
Belgrave Road, Leicester�s Golden Mile as Leicester returns to Lockdown amid a spike in Coronavirus cases in the city
Belgrave Road, Leicester�s Golden Mile as Leicester returns to Lockdown amid a spike in Coronavirus cases in the city
A funeral procession leaves a house on Brandon Street off Belgrave Road in the Golden Mile area of Leicester as Leicester returns to Lockdown amid a spike in Coronavirus cases in the city
Belgrave Road, Leicester�s Golden Mile as Leicester returns to Lockdown amid a spike in Coronavirus cases in the city
Quiet streets in Leicester City centre as Leicester returns to Lockdown amid a spike in Coronavirus cases in the city
Quiet streets in Leicester City centre as Leicester returns to Lockdown amid a spike in Coronavirus cases in the city
Quiet streets in Leicester City centre as Leicester returns to Lockdown amid a spike in Coronavirus cases in the city
Quiet streets in Leicester City centre as Leicester returns to Lockdown amid a spike in Coronavirus cases in the city
A man wearing PPE in the Spinney Halls area of Leicester, after the Health Secretary Matt Hancock imposed a local lockdown following a spike in coronavirus cases in the city.
A man wearing PPE in the Spinney Halls area of Leicester, after the Health Secretary Matt Hancock imposed a local lockdown following a spike in coronavirus cases in the city.
A police car on Gallowtree Gate in Leicester after the Health Secretary Matt Hancock imposed a local lockdown following a spike in coronavirus cases in the city.
Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby speaks to the media in Leicester City Centre as speculation grows about a localised lockdown in Leicester
A Coronavirus testing station has been set up in Victoria Park Leicester
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A Walkers spokesman said: "We have shared our data and analysis with the health authorities and they support the view that our situation reflects transmission in the community and we do not have a transmission issue on site.

"In light of the recent increase in cases in Leicester, we have been proactively reinforcing the importance of continued vigilance on site."

The company said employees with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 were self-isolating and on full pay.

A number of other food processing plants in Leicester have had confirmed cases of the deadly infection, including Samworth Brothers and Pladis, which makes biscuits for McVities.

Leicester became the first UK city to be placed back into lockdown on Monday night after 944 new cases were identified in the last two weeks.

Prime minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the people of the city for their "forbearance" in accepting the return of controls including the shutting of non-essential shops and the closure of schools to most children.

There was frustration, however, among businesses at having to turn away customers just as the rest of England was preparing for a further opening up with the return of pubs, restaurants and cinemas on Saturday.

During PMQs on Wednesday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer blamed the prime minister for a "lost week while the virus was spreading" after alleging local authorities were not given full coronavirus data.

The PM rejected this claim, adding: "The Right Honourable Gentleman is mistaken. Both pillar one and pillar two data have been shared, not just in Leicester but in all authorities across the country."

Testing carried out in NHS and Public Health England (PHE) labs is known as pillar one and all community testing, drive-throughs and tests sent to people's homes is pillar two.

Leicestershire Police Federation federation chairman Dave Stokes said his colleagues are not sure how to implement the lockdown and are waiting for a change in the law which is expected imminently.

When asked how they would enforce lockdown he told Sky News: "We don't know. And that's simply because we are waiting for the government strategy and the legislation, which will obviously support us locally about how we are going to police it.

"It's a moving picture and I'm sure the information will be fed down but at the moment that clarity isn't there."

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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