According to the plant’s owner Cargill, 64 employees — or 13 per cent of its local workforce — have tested positive for novel coronavirus.
“Cargill is working in close partnership with local health officials and the union to test our employees as soon as possible,” a Cargill spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Global News.
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The spokesperson said the “idling process” at the facility has already begun with employees working through materials on hand to avoid food waste.
The plant is expected to close sometime this week, depending on how long the idling process takes.
3:46Employees return to work at Cargill meat-packing plant
Employees return to work at Cargill meat-packing plant
“As we continue to focus on safety, we want to emphasize that employees are required to have had no symptoms of illness and not had contact with anyone with the COVID-19 virus for 14 days,” the statement reads.