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Cargill beef plant to reopen next week after COVID-19 outbreak forced closure

Last Updated Apr 29, 2020 at 6:14 pm EDT

Cargill announced a temporary shut down of its beef plant near High River where officials in the area are dealing with over 400 cases of COVID-19 linked to the plant, including the death of a worker, in High River, Alta., Thursday, April 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY — Workers are to return Monday to a beef processing plant south of Calgary that was closed for two weeks because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Cargill says its High River facility will restart with one shift and that additional safety measures will be taken.

Those measures include limiting access to the plant to no more than two people per car, with one sitting in the front and one in the back.

Buses with protective barriers are also being provided to reduce the need for carpooling to work.

The company also says barriers have been added in bathrooms and lockers have been reassigned to allow for enough spacing.

As of Tuesday, there were 759 cases of COVID-19 at the plant and one worker has died.

“We look forward to welcoming our employees back and are focused on our ongoing commitment to safety,” Jon Nash, Cargill Protein’s North America leader, said in a statement.

“We know being an essential worker is challenging and we thank our team for working so hard to deliver food for local families, access to markets for ranchers and products for our customers’ shelves.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 29, 2020

The Canadian Press

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