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Kilkeel seafood factory closed following Covid-19 outbreak


Kilkeel Harbour Photo: Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph

Kilkeel Harbour Photo: Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph

Kilkeel Harbour Photo: Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph

A Co Down seafood factory has temporarily closed after 42 staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Kilkeel Seafoods is situated at the edge of Kilkeel Harbour, with the facility producing scampi. The company employs around 250 people.

The factory closed last Thursday and results of the workforce-wide Covid-19 tests were confirmed between Sunday and Tuesday, a company spokesperson said.

Coronavirus Data Graphs

The factory will reopen on July 19, with the facility already scheduled to be closed next week for a holiday week.

Sinn Fein’s Chris Hazzard described the outbreak of cases as “hugely concerning”.

The South Down MP added: “My thoughts are with all the staff impacted by this outbreak and their families.

“There’s an onus on management to ensure the safety of all staff and that they are kept informed throughout.

“The Department of Health should move quickly to put in place an emergency response including mobile testing facilities and rapid access to vaccination for staff.”

Last week health officials urged people in Kilkeel, Omagh and neighbouring areas who are not suffering from the effects of the virus to get tested as a result of a spike in Delta variant cases in the area.

The Public Health Agency also have mobile testing units stationed at Kilkeel Leisure Centre on the Mourne Esplanade.

Kilkeel Seafoods said its staff testing had been requested as a preventative safety measure after a small number of positive cases were reported among staff last week.

The spokeswoman said the company had been working under strict Covid-19 guidelines, employing stringent use of social distancing and protective equipment.

The firm said a small number of staff who have tested negative would go into the premises during the shutdown to allow the prawn fishing fleet to continue to land directly to the firm.

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