Covid outbreak closes McCarrens
SPIKE Twenty-seven new cases in Cavan on Saturday
A Cavan Town pig processing factory is closed this week in an effort to contain an outbreak of COVID-19 among workers at the site.
McCarren Meats issued an email to employees stating it will shut for the week in response to thecluster. The firm is a part of the Kepak group and employs over 250 people on the site.
The exact number of cases is unknown.
County Cavan recorded 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, April 30, and 27 confirmed cases on Saturday, May 1, alone, according to the Covid tracker app. Up until then, the county had a five-day rolling average of just five cases per day.
One source suggested that the number of cases at the Cavan site could be as high as 40.
It’s understood the retail outlet remains open to the public.
McCarrens process up to 7,000 pigs per week. Yesterday afternoon (Tuesday), the factory was locked up, with no workers around but security.
The letter to employees stated: ‘Following recent cases of COVID-19 on site and to ensure the health and safety of all employees, a decision has been made to close the factory for this week (4-7 May inclusive).’
The email reassured employees about their status: ‘The company will make sure that no employee is at a loss of earnings during this time.’
The communication encouraged the staff to continue to practise social distancing, wear a mask and stay at home, as well as not having visitors or visiting other houses.
The mail concluded saying: ‘If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or begin to feel unwell, you will need to self isolate. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been deemed a close contact, you need to stay at home.’
A number of farmers who supply pigs to the factory declined to comment on the matter when contacted by The Anglo-Celt yesterday.
Neither McCarrens nor Kepak have responded to press queries thus far.
Roy Gallie, the chairman of the IFA National Pigs Committee, also refused to make a comment.
Ronnie Kells, a pig farmer who does not supply McCarren Meats, said the closure will impact local pig farmers: “It’s a worrying thing to happen,” the told the Celt, “I heard it will be closed for the week...
“We are in a business that has a weekly cycle. We have X pigs born every week, so we need X pigs killed every week. I don’t know what procedure will be in place, if they will arrange to have them killed elsewhere or what, but it’s not good,” Ronnie said.