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COVID-19 outbreak declared at Surrey meat processing facility

Last Updated Oct 18, 2020 at 1:38 pm PST

FILE: This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – More than a dozen employees working at a meat processing plant in Surrey have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Fraser Health Authority.

Fraser Health is declaring an outbreak at the J&L Beef Ltd. plant, where 13 staff members contracted the virus as of Sunday.

“Those identified as cases and close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate,” a release from the health authority reads.

News of a potential outbreak was first reported on Oct. 8 after Fraser Health received a positive lab test from an employee of the facility.

“The site has been inspected by Fraser Health and we are working with the facility to strengthen their COVID-19 mitigation strategies.”

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Meanwhile, staff members at two new long-term care homes in Surrey, The Village and Rosemary Heights Seniors Village have also tested positive in unrelated cases.

“Rapid response teams are at each site and communication with residents and families is underway,” continued the release.

The staff members are self-isolating in their own homes.

While enhanced control measures have been put in place, Fraser Health is working on identifying anyone who may have been exposed and is taking steps to protect the health of all staff, residents and families.

“During this time, Fraser Health has additional presence at each site to take any further actions required and support the facility. This includes dedicated people to address quality, answer questions from staff, residents and family, and provide active checks of symptoms with staff and residents.”