PUBLIC health officials have given the latest update on the localised outbreaks of coronavirus in Wrexham and Anglesey.

Two food production factories in North Wales hit the headlines as concentrated cases of COVID-19 linked to the workforces at the sites in Llangefni and Wrexham were revealed.

In the latest Public Health Wales coronavirus statement published on July 3, Dr Robin Howe, incident director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response, addresses the ongoing case of concern at Rowan Foods in Wrexham as cases linked to the site rise to 283.

He said: “The multi-agency team managing the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) associated with Rowan Foods Ltd in Wrexham has recorded a total of 283 positive cases of infection in the workforce since June 8.

“We have previously asked people who work at the site and couldn’t attend for on-site sampling to come forward for testing, and they have.

“We are reporting a total increase of 46 cases recorded since Monday, but this does not mean that we have seen a jump in the level of infection in the last 48 hours.”

Dr Howe adds that the majority of the increase comes as a result of “checking on-site sampling with results collected through community, home and drive-through testing centres, not new spread of infection”.

He continues: “We want to reassure the workforce and wider community that the results we have identified are entirely what we would expect to see when a focused and robust testing regime is put in place.

“The OCT has received assurance from the employer and the Health & Safety Executive that the factory is taking all necessary precautions to protect its workforce. There continues to be no evidence that the infection is factory-based.

“The OCT will also continue to urge any remaining workers at the site who have not yet taken up the offer of testing to do so. We would also urge everyone to maintain two metres social distancing when outside of the home, to practice good hand hygiene and continue to self-isolate if they are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19.”

The Public Health Wales statement also moves to describe the situation on Anglesey as “reassuring”.

Dr Howe said: “The monitoring and case data emerging from the 2 Sisters plant in Llangefni, Anglesey remains consistently reassuring.

“Following the multi-agency Outbreak Control Team (OCT) meeting on Wednesday July 1, a single additional case associated with the plant was reported. This brings the total number of positive cases associated with the factory and its workforce with a confirmed Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection to a total of 217.

“This is good news and demonstrates that the control measures put in place following the concerted track and trace phase of the response has been effective.”

Dr Howe adds that there is no evidence of sustained community transmission following the outbreak.

He continues: “I also want to emphasise that the actions taken by the OCT to isolate the workforce, with the full cooperation of the employer, is what has brought this outbreak under rapid control. As such, the formal testing phase of the outbreak response is now drawing to a close.

“It is important to reassure workers at the plant and the wider communities in Anglesey and Gwynedd that whenever a sustained and focused testing and contact tracing programme is put in place, it is wholly expected that we will identify additional positive cases.

“This does not mean that there has been a significant increase in the level of infection in the community as a whole, as the evidence presented to the OCT has demonstrated.”