COVID-19 outbreak declared at Lethbridge poultry-processing plant

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Source: Global News

Another meat industry facility in Alberta is coping with dozens of COVID-19 cases as Alberta Health Services confirmed Friday it is working to investigate an outbreak at a poultry site in Lethbridge.

“AHS is working closely with Sunrise Poultry Processors to investigate a confirmed outbreak of COVID-19, declared by the zone medical officer of health,” the health authority said in a statement. “This has included daily virtual meetings with AHS Environmental Public Health staff and weekly or bi-weekly situational updates with all partners.

“AHS and Sunrise have also co-ordinated to conduct point prevalence testing to identify asymptomatic cases quickly.”

The health authority said no concerns were identified during “joint facility inspections.”

Global News has reached out to Sunrise Poultry Processors for comment on the situation.

According to AHS, the outbreak at the plant has resulted in 75 COVID-19 cases so far — 38 are still considered active while 37 people have recovered.

The first confirmed coronavirus case involving an employee at the facility was identified on Feb. 5, AHS said.

“AHS Public Health determined that most cases among Sunrise staff were acquired in the community, and not at the facility,” the health authority said.

“The declaration of an outbreak comes as case numbers continue to increase among facility staff.”

AHS said confirmed cases and their close contacts are isolating and noted Sunrise has taken steps to “contain and prevent the further spread of COVID-19” at the facility.

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