Conestoga Meats plant stays open after employees test positive for COVID-19

Conestoga Meats is keeping its pork processing plant open in Breslau after workers tested positive for COVID-19.

“Conestoga Meats was informed this week of its first COVID-19 positive cases at the plant,” president Arnold Drung said in a statement.

Drung would not clarify how many workers tested positive and declined an interview.

In the statement, Drung went on to say the company is “working with Waterloo Region Public Health with respect to the situation and following all recommended protocols, including having those who have been in contact with positive cases self-isolate for 14 days.”

The plant is staying open with safety measures in place, Drung said, including daily temperature and symptom screening of workers with a nurse present, use of personal protective equipment, increased sanitation throughout the facility, staggering break and shift times as well as repurposing meeting rooms.

The positive cases coincide with an investigation by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

It is investigating after receiving two complaints on Wednesday related to COVID-19 at Conestoga Meats, including concerns about social distancing procedures.

A ministry spokesperson says an inspector was assigned and an investigation is ongoing.

The company was also investigated by the ministry for another complaint on March 24 regarding a lack of personal protective equipment.

The investigation is complete, and no orders were issued, according to the ministry.

On its website, Conestoga Meats calls itself the second-largest pork producer in Ontario, employing more than 800 workers. It also says it exports more than 50 per cent of its pork to more than 20 countries internationally.

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