Bakkavor employees undergo COVID-19 testing

17 August 2020

701 workers at Bakkavor have already been tested for COVID-19 during the first days of on-site testing at the dessert factory in Newark.


The County Council has worked with partner agencies and the management team at Bakkavor to set up the testing following a cumulative total of 72 positive cases – although since isolating 33 have since returned to work, and are fully fit and healthy to do so.


The testing facility, which will run until Wednesday 19 August, will enable all 1600 employees to be tested. It is being run by NHS clinicians in bespoke training rooms set up by Bakkavor. The rooms are open from 10am – 12pm to ensure that employees from all shift patterns have access to testing. They are released from the factory and taken to the testing zone, where details are checked prior to testing.


Staff from other areas of the business have been seconded to set up and help manage the massive administrative undertaking of uploading the details into the NHS portal and ensuring that completed tests meet the courier times allocated.


Shona Taylor, Business Director for Desserts at Bakkavor, said: “We understand the importance of the testing and I have been immensely proud of the management team and all the efforts that have been made to ensure we could deliver this for our colleagues.  The programme has been positively received, and colleagues have been supportive and reassured that every effort is being taken to ensure their safety.”


Jonathan Gribbin, Director of Public Health at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Bakkavor have been very co-operative and we hope that the testing of their employees will allow us to find out more about where people are acquiring the infection.


“However, we know that not all the cases in Newark are linked to Bakkavor so it is vital that people continue to follow the strict guidance to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 across the whole community. People should follow social distancing guidance in full including guidelines about car sharing, washing hands regularly, wearing face coverings, self-isolating and quickly getting a test if symptoms develop.”

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