N.S. poultry plant shut down for cleaning; more than 400 staff getting tested for COVID-19
BERWICK, N.S. -- Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at a large poultry farm in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley.
The province is working to contain the spread among the more than 400 people who work at Eden Valley Poultry.
"(We have) every confidence that Eden Valley Poultry is on top of the situation," said Thom Oulton, the chair of the Chicken Farmers Association of Nova Scotia.
The plant in Berwick, N.S., is the only federally-inspected poultry processor in the province.
Oulton says the industry has been preparing for the possibility of positive COVID-19 tests.
"They have a solid recovery plan in place to protect the health and safety of their employees, our farms and the community," Oulton said.
Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, has been in touch with officials from the plant and says the province is acting quickly to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"We have a large number of people and we know, if you look at other parts of the country there’s been large outbreaks in these types of facilities, that’s exactly why we’re reacting very quickly," Strang said.
Premier Stephen McNeil said the plant was shut down Wednesday for cleaning and employees are being tested at rapid-testing sites set up in the community.
So far, the news is good.
"Of the tests that have been done so far today, there were no reported cases associated with it," McNeil said.
Oulton says the plant should reopen in the next day or so.
He says that as long as the shutdown is a short one, there should be no disruption in the supply of chickens and turkeys over the holidays.