#Alberta'sBiggestOutreakinCovid19 #CargillPlantspikeInCovid19; #LackPhysicalDistancing;
Alberta, Apr 20 (Canadian-Media): About 842 percent increase in COVID-19 cases, associated with the Cargill meat plant, were announced Apr 17 by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, media reports said.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw. Image credit: Twitter
As opposed to earlier 38 known cases associated with the Cargill outbreak, 358 cases identified in households connected to Cargill on Friday seen by Hinshaw, represented 15 percent of all cases in Alberta, and more than the entire province of Saskatchewan.
It was revealed on Saturday by Dr. Jia Hu, medical officer of health for Calgary during a telephone town hall held Saturday between Cargill workers and provincial health representatives that around 200 of those cases are directly connected to Cargill contractors and workers.
Although the union that represents some workers at the plant temporarily laid off 1,000 staff last Tuesday and also called for the facility to be closed till a plan could be formulated, but the facility remained open since it was classified as an essential service as part of the food supply chain.
Cargill also began offering bonuses during the COVID-19 outbreak, workers said. They worried that by missing work, they would miss out on the bonus.
The main reason for not deciding to shut Calgary plant, including Cargill's High River plant, along with the JBS plant in Brooks and the Harmony Beef plant in Balzac both of which also have confirmed cases of COVID-19, represent approximately three-quarters of beef suppliers in Canada.
Cargill normally processes nearly 4,000 animals per day at this time of year, according to Dennis Laycraft, executive vice-president of the Canadian Cattleman's Association.
According to CUPE Alberta tweet employees at Seasons Retirement Community in High River have tested positive for COVID-19, some of whom live with employees of the Cargill plant.