COVID-19 Coupar Angus update

Published on Monday 24 August 2020

Update from the Incident Management Team (IMT) which is working with Local Councils, Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland to provide advice and support in the outbreak related to the 2 Sisters food processing plant in Coupar Angus, issued on Sunday 23 August 2020.

COVID-19 confirmed cases related to the factory as at 6pm, August 22, 2020:

  • Number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases = 110
  • 96 factory workers and 14 community contacts

One additional measure agreed today:

  • Indoor care home visiting, which could be reinstated from 24 August across Scotland if safe to do so, has been reviewed by the Tayside IMT. Partners agreed that the reintroduction of indoor visiting across Tayside could not go ahead, given the ongoing management of the outbreak of COVID-19 associated with the 2 Sisters factory, in addition to other localised cases and clusters in Tayside. Indoor visiting for end-of-life care or to support a resident’s wellbeing at times of distress can continue, as long as all infection prevention and control measures are in place, including appropriate use of PPE. Outdoor visiting can also continue. The matter will be kept under review. All care homes in Tayside have received a letter from the IMT to advise them of this decision.

Dr Emma Fletcher, Associate Director of Public Health for NHS Tayside, said, “The increase in positive cases linked to the factory again today is in line with what we expected and we continue to undertake detailed contact tracing of all cases to ensure everyone fully understands what action they must take.

“Over the last week in Tayside as a whole, more than 2500 tests have been taken at the testing sites across the area, including the two dedicated facilities in Coupar Angus and Dundee brought in specifically to support testing of 2 Sisters factory workers.  Hundreds of workers have attended for testing and given the volume of testing which has now been completed, we expect positive cases to continue to rise in the coming days as tests are processed and we receive the results.

“All workers and their household contacts, including children, should be self-isolating until 31 August and that is even if they have a negative result.

“Tayside remains in a heightened state of vigilance and the IMT today considered indoor visiting in care homes as part of its business, as this was due to be reintroduced at a number of care homes across the area from tomorrow. The NHS Tayside Health Protection Team and colleagues in the three Health and Social Care Partnerships in Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross, together with other partner agencies, determined that the reintroduction of indoor visiting should not go ahead in Tayside at this time due to the ongoing situation at the factory and a number of other clusters and positive cases.

“We know that this will cause a level of anxiety and disappointment amongst care home residents and their loved ones, however, we must ensure that we do everything we can to protect care home residents, staff and their families as we continue to address the challenges that COVID-19 presents.

“We are keeping this matter under close review and will reinstate care home visiting across Tayside as soon as we are satisfied it is safe to do so.

“Our advice remains for everyone across the area to be extra vigilant in following the FACTS guidance, particularly the over 70s and those who were shielding or in high-risk groups.”

www.taysidecares.co.uk - information for factory workers and their household contacts:

New guidance issued on Thursday, 20 August is that all factory workers and anyone living in a household with a factory worker, including any children, must now isolate at home until Monday, 31 August. This guidance, and further detailed information for factory workers and their household contacts is now available in different languages at www.taysidecares.co.uk

What you should do if you have symptoms:

Anyone who has any of the following symptoms should book a test at nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or call 0800 028 2816 if they are unable to access the online service:

  • a high temperature or fever
  • a new continuous cough 
  • a loss of, or change, in sense of smell or taste

Remember the FACTS guidance:

F – Face coverings. These should be used in shops and on public transport (buses, trains and taxis)

A – Avoid crowded places

C – Clean your hands frequently, using water & soap whenever possible

T – Two metres – observe physical distancing

S – Self-isolate and book a test if you are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms