Tipperary mushroom plant suspends work as staff test positive for Covid-19
Walsh’s Mushrooms in Golden finds 11 workers have contracted virus after testing
Walsh’s Mushrooms said that as a business ‘we have stringent measures in place to control Covid-19 since March and we have had no incidence of Covid-19 up to this point’.
A mushroom plant in Co Tipperary has suspended operations after a number of workers tested positive for Covid-19.
The plant confirmed that it had a single positive test in recent days, with more positive cases following testing of close contacts.
It is understood the HSE is to embark on a wider testing programme of workers at the facility.
Sources said eleven workers at Walsh’s mushrooms in Golden, near Cashel have tested positive from around 20 tests. While the overall number of cases is relatively low, the high percentage of positives has led to a decision to undertake more testing.
In a statement, the plant said: “Operations are being suspended after a member of staff was diagnosed with Covid-19 while in self isolation. Subsequent testing of close contacts has resulted in further positive cases.”
“As a business we have stringent measures in place to control Covid-19 since March and we have had no incidence of Covid-19 up to this point.”
“We are working with the HSE and all relevant authorities assisting in contact tracing and testing of all staff. We will use the opportunity to deep clean the plant during the temporary closure. Essential maintenance will continue at the facility.”
“The safety, wellbeing and protection of our employees, their families and the local community is our number one priority.”
Jackie Cahill, the local Fianna Fáil TD, said there were 150 people working at the plant. He described the development as “worrying”, and said he had been in contact with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly throughout the day.
“We have to get extensive and intensive testing of the workers and anyone in contact to minimise the spread of the virus and get it under control,” he said.
“Everything is being done, the proper procedures have been put in place to find out the extent of the virus in the community and control the spread of the virus as much as possible,” he said.
Labour leader and Tipperary TD Alan Kelly said the HSE had been in touch and are organising full testing facilities in the local village immediately.
“It is important that all staff and related personnel are tested immediately and then close contacts are all traced and informed,” he said.