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At least 20 employees of an Ontario greenhouse test positive for COVID-19
Pioneer Flower Farms is seen here in this undated photo. (Google Maps)
TORONTO -- A greenhouse in St. Catharines, Ont. confirmed 20 cases of COVID-19 Monday morning, prompting an investigation by Niagara public health officials.
Pioneer Flower Farms said an employee displayed symptoms of the novel coronavirus two weeks ago and was subsequently tested.
“This individual was sent into isolation off of the property as per Ministry of Health’s guidance. Later that week, two other offshore workers [showed] symptoms and testing was completed and came back positive,” Pioneer Flower Farms said in a Facebook post.
The greenhouse said that on Friday more than 80 workers were tested for the virus in an effort to “put preventative measures in place to stop the spread of asymptomatic employees.”
Since then, 20 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Niagara public health. All of those employees are currently in self-isolation or working separately from other employees.
Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services maintains that despite the outbreak, there is no increased risk to customers of Pioneer Farms.
“As well, the standard practice of isolating both persons with COVID-19 as well as contacts at risk of developing COVID-19 ensures there is no increased risk to the wider community.”
The greenhouse also said it would pay workers who tested positive for the virus while in isolation for the next two weeks. And that it was adding to the preventative measures already in place at the facility to avoid future outbreaks.
“Although the numbers of transmission are high; we are relieved that most results have come back negative, which assures our measures we have put into action are working, and we will continue to enforce these with our employees to minimize further infection within the greenhouse and to the public,” Pioneer Flower Farms said.