Market town of 7,000 people has highest Covid-19 rate in UK

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Market town of 7,000 people has highest Covid-19 rate in UK
The outbreak occured at a local meat factory Credit - Google street view

A HUGE outbreak of Covid-19  in a pork processing plant leaves a small market town in Norfolk with the highest infection rates in England.

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The rise in cases in Watton has left residents self-isolating and afraid to go out.

The town had 1,516 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days up to October 27, after 248 people tested positive at Cranswick Country Foods.

The rest of the county has very few cases, with North Norfolk having the lowest rate in England.


As the plant packages around a fifth of England’s pork, the government have been warned of the outbreak.

Health officials must now decide whether to close part of the abattoir.


Local councillor Keith Gilbert, who lives in the town, said, “Many people have stopped shopping in Watton completely. They are driving to supermarkets out of town.”

A local resident said, “It’s a huge concern for everybody, you can see a marked difference in the way people are living.”

However, Laura Elliott, who runs the butchers Steven Smith Quality Meat, insists people are following the rules.

She said, “We insist everyone who enters wears a mask unless they have an exemption.

“We’ve become extra careful with our precautions.”

The town has now been divided over what to do about Cranswick Country Foods.

Councillor Gilbert believes it should be closed, he said, “To keep it open, even with a skeleton staff, who knows how many people are contracting it.

“No matter how much pork it produces, it is a dangerous situation for not just the people working there but the wider community.”


 

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