COVID-19 outbreak closes poultry processing plant in Berwick, N.S.

The Eden Valley Poultry Inc. processing plant in Berwick, N.S., is closed for two weeks due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

In the past two days, there have been four confirmed COVID-19 cases at the plant.

After the plant’s closure on Wednesday, all 450 staff members have been tested and retesting for employees is planned.

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“We know this will be a challenge for the workers, farmers and other businesses that rely on the plant, but we need to try to prevent COVID-19 from getting a foothold anywhere in the province,” Premier Stephen McNeil said.

Public health plans to open temporary testing facilities in the Berwick area and are expanding current testing hours at facilities in the Annapolis Valley. 

Asymptomatic testing is available for those in the areas and those who have had interactions with the plant.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Outbreak declared at Nova Scotia poultry processing plant' 1:26 Coronavirus: Outbreak declared at Nova Scotia poultry processing plant

Coronavirus: Outbreak declared at Nova Scotia poultry processing plant

The mobile testing unit is being deployed and pop-up testing is also available in the area.

“We haven’t seen community spread in the Berwick area but COVID-19 is a stealth virus, and having asymptomatic people get tested within the community will help us get ahead of that,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health.

Closing the plant for two weeks is expected to break the COVID-19 transmission cycle as the normal incubation period is up to 14 days.

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