WORKERS at a Herefordshire farm hit by more than 70 cases of coronavirus are understood to have visited four separate shops in the past week, North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin has confirmed.

The MP has spoken out following the news that workers at AS Green & Co in Mathon, near Ledbury, had tested positive for the virus.

“As many people will have seen on the news, a number of Covid-19 cases were detected on a farm in Mathon over the last weekend. 73 people have tested positive of which five are believed to be symptomatic," Mr Wiggin said.

"Public Health England have acted incredibly fast to locate the virus, test all those on-site and form a large ‘bubble’ at the farm. 

"I commend the action so far taken and I believe this has been a very good example of the effectiveness of the work done to combat and neutralise mini-outbreaks of Covid-19 not only in the county but also country-wide. 

"It is believed that a worker on the farm began feeling unwell on July 7. Since that time, all workers on the site have been tested and now are completely isolated. 

"I continue to be in contact with Public Health England, Herefordshire County Council and the Government regarding the situation. 

"It is reaffirming to hear that Public Health England have declared there is no immediate threat to the wider community, however, we must not be complacent. 

"The farm in question is incredibly rural and all those living on-site will remain isolated for the time-being. 

Mr Wiggin said Public Health England, Herefordshire County Council and Worcestershire County Council are working together to track and trace the movements of the workers. 

"I understand that residents of North Herefordshire will be keen to know if they may have come into contact with workers from the farm," Mr Wiggin said.

"Worcestershire County Council have been informed that a minibus took workers to shop in four separate locations in Worcester and Malvern last week. 

"The shops and locations are Worcester's Primark, Iceland and the Romanian store, and Malvern's Morrison’s supermarket. 

"Herefordshire remains well prepared for outbreaks like this and the response so far has been exemplary. 

The north Herefordshire MP urged constituents to carry on observing social distancing, regular washing of hands and good hygiene practices when we are out shopping again on our high streets. 

If you are feeling unwell and suspect you may have Covid-19 you must isolate, organise a test and only leave the house to go and get tested. 

"I wish to thank the people of North Herefordshire for their calm and resilient approach to this situation," Mr Wiggin said. 

"In particular, I wish to bring attention to those people who have come together to deliver essential supplies to the affected farm workers. 

"It is a tremendous testament to the kindness and good will of the people of North Herefordshire.”

Dr. Kathryn Cobain, Director for Public Health in Worcestershire said: "There is a great deal of data gathering being undertaken by our Public Health colleagues in Herefordshire. We are working closely with them to fully understand the situation.

"Shoppers and staff in the stores visited by the farm workers are not at any increased risk of Covid-19. Our environmental health teams have been assisting businesses to follow the correct Covid-19 health and safety guidance. This is to ensure shoppers can visit stores with confidence.

"If you are washing your hands regularly, keeping your distance and using face coverings where necessary, you protect yourself and others.”