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York Region records 28 COVID-19 cases due to workplace outbreaks

COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces becoming 'new front' of coronavirus battle in region, Dr. Karim Kurji says
May 12, 2020
Sheila Wang

The confirmed COVID-19 cases among employees in the same workplaces have jumped to 28 in York Region, as of May 11.

The region’s medical officer of health Dr. Karim Kurji announced May 8 that COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces outside the health-care field are becoming the "new front" of the region’s battle against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The first COVID-19 case due to workplace outbreak in the region was reported on April 13, and has since been resolved, according to public health data.

The region added another 27 cases that were related to workplace outbreaks in less than a month. Among them, 15 cases have been resolved and two cases have been hospitalized, including one in intensive care.

An employee at a Saputo Dairy Products facility in Vaughan died after contracting COVID-19, according to York Region Public Health.

The health authority confirmed 23 other workers also tested positive for coronavirus at the dairy distribution plant.

Six of those confirmed cases, including the deceased, are York Region residents, according to a news release. Public health officials are following up with close contacts of the infected employees.

Saputo Dairy Products Canada, located near Hwy. 7 and Hwy. 427, is not open to the public and does not produce food, according to the news release.

On the same day, the region reported two employees -- both York Region residents -- tested positive for the virus at Nature’s Emporium, located at 2535 Major MacKenzie Dr. W., Vaughan.

One of them is currently hospitalized in intensive care.

FreshPoint Canada in Vaughan also declared an outbreak on May 8. Eight employees -- three York Region residents and five Peel Region residents -- have been diagnosed with COVID-19.