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COVID-19 outbreak confirmed at Procter and Gamble plant in Belleville

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Hastings Prince Edward Public Health has confirmed an outbreak of coronavirus at Belleville’s Procter and Gamble facility. Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health of Hastings and Prince Edward, says there have been nine confirmed cases at the P&G site on University Avenue.

According to a statement released by the health unit on Monday, P&G is working closely with HPEPH and has provided contact information for the individuals who were at P&G Belleville between Nov. 15 and Nov. 25Several people identified as high-risk contacts have been instructed to self-isolate immediately and to get tested. Once tested, they are required to remain in quarantine for 14 days after their exposure, regardless of test results.

Read more: With 31 active COVID-19 cases, Hastings Prince Edward reaches province’s yellow status

While HPEPH does not typically disclose the location of a workplace outbreak in order to protect individuals’ privacy, this information is disclosed when needed to meet public health objectives such as contact tracing.

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“It is incredibly important that impacted individuals isolate immediately and seek testing as directed by public health in order to prevent further local transmission of COVID-19,” Dr. Oglaza says. “While the risk to the community from this outbreak is considered low at this time, it serves as an important reminder to residents of Hastings Prince Edward to continue to follow public health guidance at all times, whether in the workplace, out in the community or at home.”

The products manufactured at the P&G Belleville site, feminine hygiene and incontinence products, pose no risk of transmission to the public and can be safely used, Dr. Oglaza confirms.

Read more: Tougher COVID-19 restrictions take effect in 5 Ontario regions

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, P&G has worked collaboratively with HPEPH to implement robust safety protocols including employee screening, social distancing, mandatory masks, enhanced disinfecting procedures and frequent hand sanitizing to protect the health and well-being of our employees, contractors, and the community,” says Mutazz Akour, senior director at the P&G Belleville plant. “We will continue to assist HPEPH to ensure that they have all the information they need to complete contact tracing.”

HPEPH recommends all residents practice five fundamental actions to protect themselves and others:

  • Stay home when ill, as directed by provincial assessment tools;
  • Always physical distance with those outside your household;
  • Wear a mask or face covering in public spaces, as well as when physical distancing is difficult or not possible;
  • Wash your hands often, and clean frequently touched surfaces;
  • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.