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Cargill resumes work at Guelph, Ont., plant following COVID-19 outbreak

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A new report out of the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy is pinpointing vulnerabilities of 'megascale' slaughterhouses and meat-packing plants during global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. – Dec 17, 2020

Cargill says work is resuming at its meat processing plant in Guelph, Ont., after it was shut down earlier this month due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

The company said some employees returned to work on Tuesday and Wednesday with more expected back in the new year.

Read more: Cargill closes Guelph, Ont. meat plant amid COVID-19 outbreak

A COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Dec. 4 and the plant on Dunlop Drive halted operations on Dec. 17.

As of Tuesday, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has confirmed 143 cases connected to the outbreak, including 55 active cases.

“The health and safety of our employees continue to be our top priority,” Cargill spokesperson Daniel Sullivan said.

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“In addition to safety measures we implemented at our facilities months ago, we have taken time during the idle to conduct a full, deep-clean of the facility as an additional step to respond to the community-wide impacts of the virus.”

Read more: Coronavirus — Concerns over possible labour shortage in food-processing industry

Cargill said employees should be healthy and not have had contact with anyone infected with COVID-19 for 14 days before they return to work.

The company had previously said employees who are off the job due to COVID-19 will be paid for 36 hours per week as outlined in their collective agreement with the union.

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