Nestle closes Australia factory amid Covid case
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Nestle closes Australia factory amid Covid case

By Dean Best 21 Jul 2021 (Last Updated July 21st, 2021 12:25)

The Swiss giant has shut a site in New South Wales for “professional deep cleaning”.

Nestle closes Australia factory amid Covid case
Nestle head office in Vevey, Switzerland

Nestlé has closed a pet-food production facility in Australia, with one of the plant’s employees testing positive for Covid-19.

The company has shut its site in Blayney in New South Wales.

In a statement, Nestlé said it had been informed yesterday (20 July) a staff member who works at the factory had been diagnosed with the virus.

“This person has been in isolation at home since Sunday and is doing reasonably well,” Nestlé said.

The affected employee had been one of a “small number of people” identified by state health officials as being close contacts of a truck driver who tested positive after visiting the site last week, the company added.

The driver’s positive result is said to have led government officials to decide to issue local restrictions on specific areas of the state. Three local government areas in western New South Wales entered a seven-day lockdown as of midnight today local time – Orange, Cabonne and Blayney.

“Our immediate concern since becoming aware of the possibility of contact at the site has been to protect our workers and the community,” Nestlé said.

“For this reason, we decided to close the factory on Sunday, and commence professional deep cleaning of the site. We also instructed everyone who works on the site to have a Covid-19 test and only return to work following a negative result. These decisions were confirmed yesterday when NSW Health asked that we close the site.”

A statement issued by NSW Health today said the state had recorded 110 new “locally-acquired cases of Covid-19” in the 24 hours to 8pm local time on Tuesday. The total number of cases in New South Wales since the start of the pandemic stands at 7,044. Some 61 deaths have been recorded in the state from confirmed cases.