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UK: COVID-19 outbreak on Herefordshire farm 'successfully contained'

According to UK health officials, a COVID-19 outbreak among farm workers in Herefordshire has been successfully contained with no more cases, or spread to the wider community. Up to 134 crop pickers at AS Green and Co in Mathon tested positive, causing Herefordshire Council and Public Health England (PHE) to step in last month. It was the first large outbreak in an agricultural setting with workers living on site, said a PHE spokesperson.

Workers have been self-isolating at the Herefordshire farm since the outbreak started last month.

Katie Spence, PHE Midlands Health Protection Director, said it was a "significant" outbreak but a "swift response" by AS Green prevented transmission into the community. Only a few workers remain living in self-isolation as contacts of positive cases.

"This outbreak has helped shape the national workplace guidance, and how businesses can continue to operate alongside a COVID-19 outbreak," Karen Wright, Public Health Director for Herefordshire Council said. "There is no doubt that without the actions taken by AS Green and Co, this could have been an outbreak on a much bigger scale."

According to, AS Green said of those who tested positive, 98% reported having no symptoms at all. It said all had now tested negative and it had been "overwhelmed" by the support from the local community and wider farming sector.

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