Balzac plant hit again as Calgary area sees spike in COVID-19 cases

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Thomas Hesse, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401, said workers at the Lilydale chicken processing plant in Calgary feel unsafe after 19 of the plant’s workers tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Health and government authorities, company officials, and union representatives have closely monitored this evolving situation,” Hesse said in a statement. “Unfortunately, in spite of recent interventions, positive case numbers continue to increase. Whatever is being done is clearly not enough. The risk of spread is too high, and the possible costs are too grave.”

Sofina Foods, which operates the Calgary Lilydale plant, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

High-profile coronavirus outbreaks at meat-processing plants gripped Alberta in the first few months of the pandemic.

An outbreak at Cargill’s High River plant was Canada’s largest, linked to more than 1,500 cases and three deaths.

The JBS meat-processing plant in Brooks, meanwhile, recorded more than 650 cases. Both outbreaks resolved in late May.

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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