Olymel has temporarily closed its hog slaughtering, cutting, and deboning plant at Red Deer, Alberta.

“Despite the testing protocols and sanitary measures already in place, as well as the close collaboration of Alberta Health Services to deal with a resurgence of positive cases of COVID-19 among plant employees, Olymel management believes that the conditions are no longer assembled to continue normal operations in a safe and efficient manner,” the company says, in a statement issued late Monday (February 15).

As of Sunday, Alberta Health said there were 194 active cases linked to the outbreak at the plant. There has also been one death.

Olymel says it will close the facility for an indefinite period of time. The closure plan is expected to be completed over the next few days.

The company says it has contacted all its suppliers to inform them that all pending deliveries are suspended until further notice.

“The company will follow up with all employees to ensure their quarantine period is being respected and will strongly encourage all staff to get tested before returning to work,” the company says. “Olymel will also continue ongoing investigations to determine what may have caused such a large outbreak of COVID-19 cases since January 20.”

The Olymel plant at Red Deer employs around 1,850 people.

More to come.

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