An employee at Brampton’s Maple Lodge Farms has died after being diagnosed with COVID-19, the meat plant has confirmed.
At this time, the company says, 25 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
Maple Lodge Farms says that they have been in touch with the family of the deceased to offer their condolences, and they are providing support and reassurance to their employees during this time.
“It is with deep sadness that we report the devastating news that one of our employees who tested positive for COVID-19 last month has passed away,” the brand said in a statement.
“We have checked in frequently with [the ill employees] to see how they are doing and offer our support.”
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The company says that Public Health was contacted immediately after each case was identified within the plant and, in each circumstance, an in-depth investigation and risk assessment has taken place in cooperation with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Based on those findings, Maple Lodge Farms says they have adhered to direction given by Public Health, in addition to implementing extra precautionary measures. The plant also says they will continue to notify employees and their union each time a new case arises.
Preventive measures the plant has implemented include, but aren’t limited to:
- Suspending all visitors to the facility outside of those deemed essential to the operation of our business — for example, contractors and delivery drivers
- Implementing a screening policy to ensure only healthy people enter the workplace
- Imposing physical distancing measures in common spaces, including the installation of Plexiglas shields between adjacent seating areas in the cafeteria
- Equipping all of production employees with personal protective equipment, including masks, face shields, aprons, and gloves
- Staggering production shifts for better physical distancing
- Implementing precautionary and frequent deep cleaning initiatives and adding ongoing cleaning rotations for frequently used areas and surfaces
- Meeting weekly with onsite CFIA management team to share information and establish collaborative efforts to keep all of employees safe
The Ontario Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour have reportedly confirmed that the plant’s increased sanitation measures, along with the physical distancing measures, additional PPE, and other initiatives, are appropriate preventative measures to keep employees well-protected.