B.C. health officials order two more poultry plants closed

Over 50 COVID-19 cases found at Superior Poultry

Health officials in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley have ordered two more poultry processing plant closed after multiple cases of COVID-19 were confirmed among employees.

Fraser Health announced April 24 it had ordered Superior Poultry Processors of Coquitlam to close after two employees of the chicken processing plant tested positive for the coronavirus. The health district said it went in to test at the site after it received a positive lab test on April 22 from a Superior employee.

The plant will remain closed until the conditions of the public health order are met, the health district said in a release.

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As of Friday, 52 employees of the federally-inspected plant were confirmed positive for COVID-19, the province said in its daily pandemic briefing. Case and contact management are ongoing, Fraser Health said in a separate notice.

The health district announced late Thursday it had issued a closure order for another plant in its jurisdiction, Chilliwack-based Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry, “following an outbreak of COVID-19 among staff working at the facility.”

All staff at the chicken, duck and goose processing plant have been tested for COVID-19 and the plant will remain closed until the company “can demonstrate that they meet the parameters of the order, which includes addressing deficiencies at the site,” Fraser Health said.

The district on Friday also reported a single COVID-19 case in one staff member at Sofina Foods’ Lilydale chicken plant at Port Coquitlam, but that plant “remains open at this time.”

All symptomatic employees at the Sofina site have been tested, Fraser Health said, and its officials “are working with the facility to update their COVID-19 mitigation strategies.”

Fraser Health, in its statements, emphasized there’s “no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission” for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and there have been “no reported cases of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.” — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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