04/09/2020: Banham Poultry Covid-19 outbreak - Update from Norfolk County Council, Public Health Norfolk and Breckland Council

Reaction to Government's decision to designate Norfolk as an area of enhanced support:

Norfolk County Council leader, Councillor Andrew Proctor, said: "We welcome the Secretary of State's decision to make Norfolk an area of enhanced support, following the coronavirus outbreak at Banham Poultry."

"This is all about support, not restrictions. There will not be extra rules affecting how any of us live and work in Norfolk. This is purely about the Government providing swifter data and testing and giving us the support we need."

"I would reassure the community and our visitors that Norfolk is still a safe place in which to live, work and visit."

Director of public health, Dr Louise Smith, said: "All the evidence so far suggests that we have contained the Banham Poultry outbreak."

"Although cases have risen in Great Yarmouth, Breckland and Norwich, we have always been clear this would happen, as Banham cases fed through into the figures. They are all linked to workers and their households."

"We can now draw on additional Government support, to obtain swifter data and testing, to support our local efforts."

"Thank you to everyone in Norfolk who has been following advice on hand washing and social distancing, which has ensured that we do not have a serious, wider problem across our communities."

"If you are contacted by test and trace, please isolate for the stated period and get tested as soon as possible if you have symptoms. You will be playing a crucial part in keeping coronavirus under control."

Leader of Breckland Council, Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, commented, "I would like to ask all local residents to remain calm, continue with their daily routines like using the local high street or  going to school, whilst following national Covid-19 safety guidelines. By washing your hands regularly, maintaining social distancing when out and about, and checking for symptoms we can all ensure this outbreak does not spread any further."

"Breckland Council staff are working incredibly hard to support our local residents affected by this outbreak, whilst working with our local government partners in providing advice and support in relation to food, medication drops, housing and financial advice. By working together, following the guidelines and being extra vigilant, we will ensure a safer Breckland for everyone."

Responses to key questions residents might have:

1.    Is this a recognition that there are problems with test and trace in Norfolk?

No - This is about giving us a better link with national resources and services.
We are pleased the Government recognises that we need data and support more quickly, to fully support our local efforts to contain this outbreak. All the evidence so far is that we have contained it. They have already been giving us more support with mobile testing than other areas have received.

2.    What does the enhanced support entail?

We will be given priority for any additional testing capacity:

  • Continued priority for mobile testing units as required
  • Ring fencing of NHS Test and Trace call centre  tracing resources
  • Priority for test results and data sharing
  • Enhanced backward contact tracing
  • Senior/experienced PH input

3.    What is the current coronavirus infection rate in Norfolk and also in the districts of Breckland, Great Yarmouth and Norfolk, where most of the Banham Poultry staff live?

Rate per 100,000:
Norwich 13.9
Great Yarmouth 35.2
Breckland 32.3
Norfolk 8.85
East of England 10.2
England  13.5

4.    What is the current number for positive tests of Banham staff and households?

119 positive cases out of 1,784 tested.


•    All staff at the plant, plus their households, have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they have not tested positive and for 10 days if they have tested positive - households of those who have tested positive need to isolate for 14 days.

•    Additional mobile testing units have been brought into Norfolk, to offer testing to anyone connected to the Banham Poultry site

•    As announced last Friday, staff who are self-isolating are being offered support, if they need it, from the Norfolk Assistance Scheme - including food and medical supplies and hardship fund payments. The number is 01603 223392

•    Contact tracing is taking place to alert anyone who has been linked to Banham Poultry workers who have tested positive for Covid-19

•    The process for euthanasia of the chickens is subject to the usual strict regulatory controls

•    Anyone in Norfolk who is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should book an NHS test via the GOV.UK website

•    The county council has written to every household in Norfolk, urging them to get tested if they have symptoms and its public health information campaign will continue


Last updated: 27/10/2020 08:20:45