Although seven staff members are home recuperating from COVID-19, there has been no outbreak declared at Maple Leaf Foods.
Vice-president of communications and public affairs Janet Riley confirmed as much during the weekend, noting this is nothing new for the Brandon-based pork processing plant.
The number of cases among staff has fluctuated during the pandemic, just as the number of cases in the larger community has risen and fallen, she noted.
The Maple Leaf Foods plant in Brandon employs more than 2,000 people.
"Keeping our people safe from COVID-19 is our priority and it has been since pandemic began more than a year ago," she wrote.
"In addition to our strict protocols we have in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are extremely diligent in our contact tracing any time one of our team members tests positive."
A spokesperson from the province who requested she not be an attributable source confirmed public health has not been advised of an outbreak at Maple Leaf Foods’ Brandon plant.
In addition, nothing has been posted regarding the plant on the province’s pandemic response system website.
An outbreak of COVID-19 occurred among Maple Leaf’s team members in Brandon last summer, which resulted in a push for the plant’s temporary shutdown as a precaution. This push by the union and opposition parties within the province was rejected, as transmission was not believed to have taken place at the plant itself.
During the weekend, Riley affirmed strict COVID-19 protocols remain in place at the plant, which includes mandator masks at all times, daily health and temperature screening and careful social distancing.
Maple Leaf Foods has completed vaccine clinics at seven sites in Canada thus far, and pending vaccines are available plan on hosting a clinic at the Brandon plant this month.
"We believe that vaccinations are essential in preventing COVID-19, and bringing these opportunities to the workplace will make it easier for team members to access vaccinations," she wrote.
Further, she wrote they’ve been working with public health officials throughout the pandemic and immediately being contact tracing to determine the possible source and whether any other team members may have been in close contact to ensure appropriate precautions are taken.
» Twitter: @TylerClarkeMB