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Health Unit Announces 13 Cases Of COVID-19 At Lakeside Produce

Tuesday May 12th, 2020, 5:03pm


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The Windsor Essex County Health Unit is reporting 13 cases of COVID-19 at Lakeside Produce’s facility in Leamington.

The Health Unit and Lakeside Produce announced the cases in a joint statement to the media, Tuesday afternoon, to highlight monitoring and workplace safety efforts that have been made “in light of recent media related to agricultural production and COVID-19 in southwest Ontario,” officials said.

They say the first case was confirmed among an employee on April 1st and twelve other employees have since tested positive.  Officials say ten of the thirteen cases have now recovered and were all close contacts to each other.  The Health Unit says the cases were caused by community spread, were “sporadic in nature” and were not linked to any travel.

“This investigation demonstrates the importance of health and safety processes and procedures in all workplaces and adhering to public health guidance,” the joint statement said.

The Health Unit says agri-businesses in the region have done an “outstanding job with implementing health and safety procedures and adhering to public health recommendations.”

Lakeside Produce is one of the area’s largest producers of fresh produce with a large workforce of both year-round and temporary foreign workers.

“We are doing well and continue to strive for excellence with the guiding assistance and support from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Produce Marketing Association, Canadian Produce Marketing Association and Joe Sbrocchi and his team from Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers,” said Sudeshna Nambiar, Chief Operating Officer of Lakeside Produce.  “Safety and protection of our employees continues to remain our TOP PRIORITY with an extension to our community.”

“In order to feed the world, we are fiercely determined to take care of our people – because they are our world.”

Further details are expected to be released at the Health Unit’s daily briefing on Wednesday.

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