CALGARY, ALBERTA – Cargill officials confirmed an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases at its case-ready processing plant in northeast Calgary, which employs about 400 workers. Five workers have tested positive for the virus, and Deena Hinshaw, MD, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said widespread testing is underway with officials from Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Canada’s Occupational Heath and Safety (OHS) involved in the response efforts.

“AHS and OHS have visited the plant and are making sure necessary measures are in place to reduce transmission and protect workers,” Hinshaw said in a Tweet.

Daniel Sullivan, Cargill spokesperson, said that initial investigations into the cases show “no known workplace links between the five active cases,” and the employees did not work in the same areas and didn’t come into contact with each other on a regular basis. The five individuals are in isolation and are receiving medical care, Sullivan said.

As of Aug. 14, cases in Alberta increased by 84 with a total of 1,036 active cases confirmed and 221 deaths. A total of 12,053 cases have been confirmed in Alberta, with 10,796 people recovering from the virus. 

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are working with AHS to offer testing to all of our employees over the next few days,” Sullivan said. “We also continue to work closely with health officials to ensure effective prevention, cleaning and quarantine protocols are followed within our facilities and beyond.”