Public Health confirms COVID-19 workplace outbreak at local farm

Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services is investigating 20 confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in employees of Pioneer Flower Farms in St. Catharines. The ill employees have been isolated as part of the usual response to COVID-19 cases.

Similar to other outbreaks, Public Health is facilitating testing of other employees who have symptoms or are at increased risk. All employees who have been exposed to the infection have been isolated or are working separately from others to prevent further spread.

Pioneer Farms has increased cleaning and disinfection routines, and is closely monitoring its team for signs of infection so that Public Health can follow-up with possible new cases as quickly as possible.

At present, Public Health has determined that 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.

“While this workplace poses no particular risk to the broader community, it is a reminder that although Niagara has had success in reducing COVID-19, persons are still becoming ill with the infection,” said Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health. “As businesses reopen and the potential for COVID-19 to spread increases, it is more important than ever that we are all doing what we can to keep ourselves and those around us healthy.”

Public Health updates its COVID-19 data webpage each day at noon and the newest cases will be included in today’s (June 1) update.

The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 is to:

  • Avoid non-essential trips into the community
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary close interaction with others (stay 2 metres apart)
  • Wear a cloth face mask in public when physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily. Use a disinfectant and follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Public Health continues to remind everyone of the importance of using credible sources to stay informed. We update our COVID-19 webpage daily as new information is confirmed.

Contact

Meredith Maxwell
Niagara Region Public Health
905-688-8248 ext. 7476
meredith.maxwell@niagararegion.ca


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