Officials ID Covid-19 Outbreak at Cargill Processing Plant

Public health officials in Alberta identified a COVID-19 outbreak at a Cargill Case Ready meat processing plant in Calgary.

John S. Forrester, former Managing Editor

August 18, 2020

2 Min Read
Image courtesy of Pixabay

A Cargill Case Ready meat processing plant in Calgary, AB is facing a COVID-19 “outbreak” after five workers at the facility recently tested positive for the virus, Alberta public health officials said late last week.

“There are 5 cases linked to Cargill Case Ready Meats in #YYC [Calgary International Airport]. Widespread testing is underway,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said in an August 14 tweet. “AHS [Alberta Health Services] and OHS [Occupational Health and Safety] have visited the plant and making sure necessary measures are in place to reduce transmission and protect workers.”

Alberta public health agencies are conducting contract tracing and working to make sure those who have possibly been exposed to the coronavirus are isolated and receive treatment, Dr. Hinshaw said.

An outbreak is publicly declared by the province if five or more cases have been reported at a facility, and the designation is removed after four weeks have passed with no new positive tests. The outbreak at the Cargill facility is one of nine active COVID-19 outbreaks in the Calgary area, according to information on the province’s website.

“At this time there are no known workplace links between the five active cases. These individuals were not in regular contact with one another or workin in the same areas,” Cargill spokesperson Daniel Sullivan told “Out of an abundance of caution, we are working with AHS to offer testing to all of our employees over the next few days.”

Meat processing plants have been infection hotspots during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A report published in July by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found 16,233 meat and poultry processing workers have become infected with the virus and 86 have died in the United States at 239 facilities across 23 states. Another data set released by the Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN) in June found that more than 32,000 food processing, meatpacking, and farm workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in the US since April 22. 

About the Author(s)

John S. Forrester

former Managing Editor, Powder & Bulk Solids

John S. Forrester is the former managing editor of Powder & Bulk Solids.

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