3 more cases of COVID-19 identified at Brandon Maple Leaf plant, union says

By | August 6, 2020

The Maple Leaf Foods plant in Brandon, Man., has three more employees with COVID-19, union officials say.

The three additional cases are among non-production, unionized employees at the pork processing facility, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 832 said in a memo to workers early Thursday morning.

The union was alerted about the cases late Wednesday, the memo says. The UFCW is now calling on Maple Leaf to stop production at the plant until Aug. 10 at the earliest, until more information is known about any outstanding tests among workers.

The new cases come after one other worker in the plant tested positive for COVID-19, which prompted more than 70 employees who may have been exposed to go into self-isolation.

The first worker who tested positive, who was also not on the production line, hasn’t been at work since July 28, the union said Wednesday.

The employee passed the medical screening before starting work that day but started feeling sick during the day, the union said.

UFCW and Maple Leaf were informed about the positive test on Friday, a union spokesperson said Wednesday. Parts of the plant were deep-cleaned over the long weekend, said Bea Bruske, secretary-treasurer of UFCW Local 832.

Maple Leaf Foods said in a statement Wednesday that it was reviewing the circumstances around the first worker, who was recovering at home.

It appears the worker contracted COVID-19 while out in the community, the company said Wednesday.

A security guard at the Brandon plant tested positive for COVID-19 in May.

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