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Alberta plans to open vaccination clinics at Cargill meat plant close to Excessive River | CBC Information

Alberta plans to open vaccination clinics at a southern Alberta meat-packing plant that as soon as had North America’s largest COVID-19 outbreak linked to a single web site.

The Cargill operation close to Excessive River has about 2,000 staff and processes round 4,500 head of cattle per day — round one-third of Canada’s processed beef provide.

Clinics on the plant will open along with Part 2C of the province’s vaccination plan, Alberta Well being Providers (AHS) mentioned in a press launch on Thursday. Clinic operation relies on the supply of vaccines.

Part 2C is projected to launch in April and Could provincewide, and widens up vaccinations to a number of new teams, together with residents and workers working in settings in danger for giant outbreaks corresponding to meat-packing vegetation.

Whereas a selected date was not offered by AHS for the opening of the immunization clinics, the Globe and Mail reported on Thursday that operations are scheduled to begin round April 20.

Vaccinations on the plant’s clinics shall be offered by occupational well being nurses who shall be employed by Cargill, and public well being nursing workers will assist help and practice them, AHS mentioned.

‘They’re at greater threat’

AHS mentioned it hopes to develop the pilot to different meat-processing vegetation, which have proved harmful for employees in Alberta in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An outbreak final spring noticed not less than 950 staff on the Cargill facility — practically half its workforce — take a look at constructive, and was linked to 3 deaths.

From left: Benito Quesada, 51; Hiep Bui, 67; and Armando Sallegue, 71, have died of COVID-19, with their deaths linked to an outbreak on the Cargill slaughterhouse close to Excessive River, Alta. Quesada and Bui had been employees on the plant, and Sallegue was the daddy of a employee. (UFCW 401, Motion Dignity, Arwyn Sallegue)

The plant was hit with a second outbreak in December, with 12 energetic circumstances linked as of Monday.

Thomas Hesse, the president of United Meals and Industrial Employees Native 401 — the union that represents the staff at Cargill — advised CBC Information in January that vaccines wanted to be made available for meat plant employees.

“In a Cargill or a JBS or different manufacturing facility in Alberta, there will be a few thousand employees in an enormous field nonetheless working in comparatively proximity,” mentioned Hesse advised CBC Information in January.

“These are important employees. They’re at greater threat. That is clearly an occupational illness. A lot of them need to have entry to a secure vaccine.”

Cargill faces proposed class-action, RCMP investigation

Cargill is dealing with a proposed class-action lawsuit on behalf of people who had shut contact with Cargill staff. They allege the corporate operated with out ample safeguards regardless of public well being warnings.

The RCMP additionally confirmed in January that it had opened an investigation into the demise of Cargill employee Benito Quesada after his daughter, Ariana Quesada, filed a proper criticism asking police to research potential legal negligence. It’s believed to be the primary police investigation right into a office COVID-19 fatality in Canada.

The allegations have but to be examined in court docket. 

Along with the Cargill plant north of Excessive River, present outbreaks at meat-packing vegetation in Alberta embrace Cargill Case Prepared in Calgary, Olymel in Crimson Deer, Lilydale Sofina Meals in Edmonton, and Dawn Poultry Processors in Lethbridge.

  • Check out a timeline of the 2020 Cargill outbreak:

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