Thursday, January 14, 2021

Conestoga Meats hit by COVID-19

A second outbreak of COVID-19 among about 1,000 workers at Conestoga Meats has been brought under control, according to the Waterloo Region Health Unit.

On Friday it said the number of workers testing positive for COVID-19 had increased to 95.

It began during the Christmas break and quickly spread among workers despite strong measures adopted at the plant to prevent the virus from spreading.

In April 91 workers tested positive and the plant shut down for a week. There was a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the time and social distancing was a challenge.

Since then the plant has been able to implement many measures to mitigate virus spread.

The Waterloo Region Health Unit kept from identifying the plant for almost a month, reporting only the number of cases at an unidentified food processing facility.

Conestoga Meats is the second-largest hog slaughter plant in the province, is owned by farmers and relies heavily on export markets, some of them highly sensitive about COVID-19.