THREE workers have absconded from the farm where more than 200 people have been quarantined after a coronavirus outbreak.
Some 73 people have currently tested positive for coronavirus at AS Green and Co in Mathon, near Ledbury in Herefordshire, but reports this afternoon suggested some infected people had fled the vegetable farm.
West Mercia Police has confirmed that three workers have left the farm, one of which had tested positive for coronavirus.
Herefordshire Commander, Superintendent Sue Thomas said: “Within the constraints of the current legislation, we continue to support our partners in Public Health England and Herefordshire Council as they work with the farm owner and those working there to keep them all safe and to provide reassurance to the local community.
“In relation to an individual who has left the site after testing positive with the virus, we are assisting our colleagues at Public Health England, as required, in order to trace them.”
The farm supplies beans and broccoli to some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Aldi, Sainsbury’s and M&S.
Director of Public Health, Karen Wright said: “Herefordshire Council continues to deploy the local response in Mathon, in accordance with our outbreak control plan.
“There are now 74 confirmed cases at the farm. Our focus remains the health and wellbeing of residents while we work to contain and control the spread of COVID-19. We continue to support the farm management, their workers – who form an important part of our local economy, and the local community through this challenging time.
“There are three workers who have left the site without permission – one of whom tested positive. Workers who have left the premises have been asked to self-isolate. We are working with West Mercia Police to ensure they are safe and well, and taking the appropriate public health advice.
“We follow the data on number of cases in Herefordshire closely, which otherwise remains very low.
“I would like to remind everybody that it is important to wash your hands, maintain social distancing and to wear a face covering to help protect others.”