COVID-19 hits another Cargill meat-processing facility in Canada

COVID-19 hits another Cargill meat-processing facility in Canada

COVID-19 hits another Cargill meat-processing facility in Canada

The factory will close from Wednesday to Friday this week to allow all employees to be tested. More than 900 of its 2,000 workers tested positive, while at least 1,500 cases and two deaths are linked to the Alberta facility, making it the largest COVID-19 outbreak in North America.

The union representing the plant workers, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), says 171 employees are already at home either because they are sick or have come into contact with someone showing symptoms. It will reopen once there are enough non-infected workers to operate it.

"Because the health and safety of Cargill employees remains our priority, we've made a decision to close our protein production factory in Chambly", the company said, adding that it would continue to pay workers during the stoppage.

In a statement, the public health department for the Montérégie region says it has been working with the company since April 25 to deal with the outbreak.

"We fully recognize the health concerns of workers in certain meat plants", the statement read.

COVID-19 hits another Cargill meat-processing facility in Canada

Quebec reported its second-highest number of daily new COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, as 142 people succumbed to the virus.

Schools and daycares outside the Montreal area will open as scheduled on Monday, with attendance optional and physical distancing measures in place.

The Olymel slaughtering and cutting plant in Yamachiche, 150 kilometres northeast of Montreal, also had to close its doors on March 29 after detecting at least nine cases of infection among its employees.

Numerous outbreaks have occurred in long-term care homes, including a single home in Laval that counts over 200 cases and 84 deaths as of Sunday.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba began to gradually reopen last week, while British Columbia is phasing in the reopening of its economy with certain health services, retail outlets, restaurants, salons and museums resuming some operations in mid-May.

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