Cases of COVID-19 jump to 44 at Conestoga Meats in Breslau
KITCHENER -- A Breslau meat processing facility is reporting 44 COVID-19 cases among its employees.
Conestoga Meats shut down processing operations after several cases were reported weeks ago, but operations at the plant started up again on Monday with new measures in place.
“During the week of closure, activities were centred on enhancing processes, procedures and facilities to provide maximum safety during the pandemic, as our first priority is keeping our employees safe while they are in the workplace,” a statement from Conestoga Meats to CTV News reads in part.
The plant stopped processing hogs at the end of April when seven employees there were confirmed to have the virus. That number has increased over the past two weeks.
The total number includes cases that are resolved and some employees who have returned to work.
Since that time, management has made it mandatory for all team members to wear personal protective equipment that covers the eyes, nose and mouth.
Additional measures also include thermal imaging for temperature screening on-site, new dividers on the plant floor to support physical distancing, plexiglass table dividers in lunch rooms and more cleaning throughout the facility.
Officials say workers are getting an additional $4 dollars an hour from the company.
In a statement, the company says its primary objective is to keep employees safe while continuing to provide a secure food supply.
“Canadian farmers, like Conestoga’s owners, are working hard to deliver livestock and Canadian food workers, like our 1,200 team members, are doing their part to process food.”
The Ministry of Labour has worked on two investigations here, with one considered resolved.
Company officials say they invited government officials as well as public health to tour the facility and provide feedback.