Outbreak confirmed at meat plant as Waterford loses grip on low Covid rate

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Digital Desk staff

A “significant” outbreak of Covid-19 has been confirmed at a Waterford meat plant days after the region recorded its largest increase in cases in a single day since the pandemic began.

A cluster believed to involve about 30 cases of the virus has been confirmed at the Dawn Meats Beef plant in Grannagh, according to the Waterford News & Star.

Confirmation of the outbreak first came from senior political figures as the local newspaper failed to receive comment or confirmation from the plant over the past two weeks.

It comes as Waterford recorded 22 new cases of the virus on Sunday – the largest increase in the region since the pandemic began – followed by 29 further cases in the past three days.

At the announcement of yesterday’s figures, acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn issued a particular warning for Waterford along with the counties of Dublin, Louth and Donegal.

Meat plant

Dawn Meats today issued a statement, saying it “supports the recent mass testing being carried out across all meat processing plants in the country.”

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“Dawn Meats continues to work closely with the HSE and other Government agencies in maintaining its implementation of comprehensive measures to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

“Whilst we do not plan to publish updates or give commentary on test results at specific plants, where positive tests are identified we will ensure all staff, close contacts, and the HSE and relevant authorities are fully informed.

“Dawn Meats’ approach is that any staff member who may be obliged to self-isolate in line with HSE guidelines, will continue to be paid.”

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It comes as isolated cases of the virus have also been confirmed in schools around the city.

At the beginning of May, Waterford had the lowest rate of Covid-19 infections in the country, according to figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, with just 138 confirmed cases since the outbreak began.

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