NORFOLK COUNTY —
An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at a Norfolk County farm after public health says three migrant workers have tested positive for the virus.
The three are now in hospital, 26 others are showing symptoms and awaiting results, while 140 people are in self-isolation.
Haldimand-Norfolk Public Health says the migrant workers at Scotlynn Group in Vittoria served their two-week self-isolation period when they first arrived. The risk of transmission from them is no different than anyone else in the community, according to officials.
Scott Biddle, the president of Scotlynn Group, says he wants to make sure no one else has COVID-19.
“We’ve shut down, we’ve disinfected, we’ve cleaned the facilities, harvesters, picklers, and we went a step further and isolated everybody,” he said. “We brought in 207 migrant workers from Mexico and did the self isolating for 14 days as instructed by the health department.
“It’s been about 25 days now that they’ve been out and working.”
Haldimand-Norfolk’s medical officer Dr. Shanker Nesathurai says that if someone had COVID-19, they would have cleared it during the two-week period.
The next step, according to Nesathurai, is contact tracing.
“The goal of the public health service ultimately is to try to contain the number of cases and identify people that might be exposed,” he said.
Biddle adds that the workers stay contained on the farm and only go to the grocery store before hours.
“They have no real other interaction with the community,” he said.
Testing is underway for those who live at the three affected residences, other farm employees, and some community members.
“Although this is a challenge, it is a manageable challenge,” said Nesathurai.
Food safety and security expert Sylvain Charlebois says consumers do not need to be concerned about the outbreak at the farm.
“You have a better chance of getting sick from salmonella or E.coli than COVID-19,” he said.
Biddle says they are waiting for negative test results before they can get back to business.
Source: – CTV News
Edited BY Harry Miller