COVID Outbreak Among Staff Closes Grand River Foods Processing Plant in Abbotsford

Abbotsford/Surrey – Fraser Health is sharing the following information about COVID-19 in our region:

Long term care

Fraser Health has declared the COVID-19 outbreak over at Eagle Ridge Manor, a long-term care facility in Port Moody that is owned and operated by Fraser Health.

With the implementation of comprehensive strategies to prevent and respond to COVID-19 in care facilities, there are no longer any COVID-19 cases at this location.

Community

Fraser Health Public Health has closed Grand River Foods, a food processing plant located at31100 Wheel Avenue, Abbotsford, following an outbreak of COVID-19 among staff working at this location.

To date, 22 employees of the facility have tested positive for COVID-19 as part of this outbreak. Case and contact management is ongoing. Those identified as cases and close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate.

Fraser Health Public Health identified a cluster at this site on February 2, 2021 and an outbreak was declared on February 19, 2021. Fraser Health last inspected the site on February 18, 2021 and has ordered the site closed.

Fraser Health is working with staff to identify anyone who may have been exposed, and is taking steps to protect the health of all staff. We are working with the facility to strengthen their COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), there is no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission for the virus. At this time, there have been no reported cases of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. Therefore, no recall of chicken products distributed from this plant is required. All Canadians should continue to follow good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, such as:

·       Washing hands with soap and water

·       Regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces

·       Cooking meat thoroughly

·       Avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods

The CFIA delivers ongoing inspections on-site to verify the operator’s compliance with the Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations. The CFIA also requires that establishments have COVID-19 prevention documentation which clearly articulate mitigation measures and their response to a suspected and confirmed case of COVID-19 to support public health requirements and guidance.

Schools

Fraser Health is working closely with the Surrey School District to manage COVID-19 exposures at Woodward Hill Elementary School, AHP Matthew Elementary School, Tamanawis Secondary School, James Ardiel Elementary School, and Surrey Traditional Elementary School. In addition, Fraser Health is working closely with the Delta School District to manage a COVID-19 exposure at Hellings Elementary School. Fraser Health is also working with Gobind Sarvar School, an independent school in Surrey, to manage a COVID-19 exposure at that location.

Individuals at each school have tested positive for a COVID-19 variant of concern. Only those staff and students who have been identified as close contacts need to be tested and have been contacted. The schools will remain open. Fraser Health is investigating all cases, and, to date, most appear to be linked to community transmissions.

As this is a variant that is new to our communities and more easily transmissible, Fraser Health is working to identify any further connected variant cases to ensure immediate isolation and case management to prevent further transmission.

The variant strain can transmit more quickly and easily but does not seem to cause more severe illness, nor interfere with the effectiveness of vaccines, nor affect our ability to test for the virus.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit fraserhealth.ca/covid19

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