Conestoga Meats dealing with second COVID-19 outbreak

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second COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Conestoga Meats.

The region’s COVID-19 dashboard said there are 85 cases associated with the outbreak, although some people may have caught the disease through community spread. The region’s top doctor said 33 of the cases have been assessed to be community-acquired.

Jeannette Enriquez, president of the Filipino Canadian Association of KW, said several of the infected workers are Filipino.

“A lot of them are Filipinos who just came in a few weeks ago from the Philippines, coming back to Canada,” Enriquez said.

She added the community has been hit hard by the disease.

“I feel really bad because, when they’re working here, all their families are back home,” Enriquez said. “A lot of them are living together or they do carpooling, that’s probably why they’re saying social gathering is the most impact.”

“It is the conditions of employment and the poor quality of the jobs that led to a high rate of infection,” said Deena Ladd, executive director of Workers Action Centre.

Public health officials said they’re working closely with the meat packaging plant to help prevent further spread. CTV News Kitchener reached out to Conestoga Meats, but they declined to comment.

Enriquez said the workers she’s talked to said the facility is doing a good job of supporting infected workers.

“Conestoga Meat packers are very kind to them and accommodate them,” she said.

She said she’s putting together packages of food to send to community members who are self-isolating.

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