Positive COVID-19 tests at Maple Leaf Foods plants in Hamilton and Brampton

The CBC reports that that two Maple Leaf Foods employees, one in Hamilton and one in Brampton, have tested positive for COVID-19.

“We informed all of our employees the same day we learned of the positive test results,” a release from Maple Leaf Foods said. “These cases are the first two to occur among Maple Leaf Foods’ 13,000 employees.”

Janet Riley, vice president, of communications and public affairs, said the company learned of the tests on Monday, the same day the results came in, but was unable to say if the company learned of the tests through public health or through the infected employees.

She also did not reveal any information about the two employees.

The company said infected staff are staying at home and anyone who was in contact with them has been directed to self-quarantine for two weeks.

The plant in Hamilton is a prepared meats plant and the Brampton plant deals with fresh poultry. A 2015 document from Maple Leaf Foods says 670 people work at the Hamilton plant. It’s unclear how many people work at the Brampton plant.

The company says it has put in a number of measures amid the pandemic.

“Production at the two sites will continue with our normal, careful, daily sanitation procedures in food production areas and with additional, frequent cleaning of common areas like washrooms, breakrooms and lunch rooms,” reads the statement.

“We are continuing with screening of people coming into our plants and careful efforts to enhance social distancing between employees by converting conference rooms to break rooms, bringing in trailers to decrease the density of employees during breaks and by staggering breaks.”

As of Monday morning, there are 171 people infected with COVID-19 in Hamilton, including the local Maple Leaf Foods worker.

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