EXPERTS say an outbreak of coronavirus amongst staff at a food factory explains part of the rise in cases across Tendring.

Surya Foods, which is based at Europa House, in Parkeston, has announced five of its employees have tested positive for Covid-19.

The five staff members tested positive 11 days ago, and the company has had no further confirmed cases since.

Surya Foods employs more than 1,500 people, of which 180 are based in Parkeston at present.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Surya Foods employs hundreds of residents of north Essex

A Surya Foods spokesman said: "We are a responsible company and the health, safety and wellbeing of all of our colleagues is of paramount importance to our business.

"In light of the five confirmed cases we have implemented self isolation of all colleagues working within that team bubble and shift pattern."

"49 of our colleagues have tested negative."

She said the company has made the necessary changes across the whole of the business to protect all of its members.

"We can advise that no food product will be affected," she added.

"Our priority is and will continue to be the safety of all of our loyal colleagues."

The company is now working in collaboration with Public Health England and Essex County Council.

An Essex County Council spokesman said they are aware of the cases at Surya Foods.

He added: "These are a small number of cases and the situation is under control.

"These cases do go some way to explaining the recent rise in cases in Harwich, but there are cases in Clacton which remain unexplained and are being investigated."

Read More >>> Harwich and Clacton see 'first signs of spike' in coronavirus cases

Last Friday, Dr Mike Gogarty, director of public health for Essex, announced the first signs of an increase in Covid-19 cases in Harwich and Clacton after 21 cases were reported in the past two weeks.

Essex County Council is working closely with public health colleagues and environmental health officers at Tendring Council.

"Health Protection officers have visited the business and provided direct support and guidance to ensure they are Covid-19 safe and taking necessary precautions,”he added.

A Tendring Council spokesman said each staff member will have additional links outside the workplace.

He added: "All workers have been tested and the company is working closely with ourselves, Public Health England and Essex County Council to continue to monitor the situation and ensure the appropriate safety measures are put in place to protect employees.”

Ivan Henderson, Essex County councillor for Harwich, wanted to reassure residents that everything is under control.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Ivan Henderson says residents should not be worried

He said: "At the same time the usual message is being said that everyone does need to be careful and follow the necessary guidelines.

"People should be quite reassured that everything is being done and the authorities are cooperating."