St-Albert Cheese Co-op temporarily shuts down production following COVID-19 cases
OTTAWA -- The St-Albert Cheese Co-op has shutdown production until at least next week due to cases of COVID-19.
The company’s business development director Éric Léveillé tells CTV News Ottawa that both the factory and the factory store are closed after three employees tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week.
"We immediately quarantined 15 employees that were in close contact with case number one," said Léveillé.
"So far, the two other positive results are from the first group of 15."
The St-Albert Cheese Co-op says the Eastern Ontario Health Unit was at the facility on Thursday afternoon to test all 200 employees to make sure there are no other positive cases.
"We will not be making cheese until Tuesday at the earliest in order to give public health time to get the results and for us to re-organise our work around the quarantined employees," said Léveillé.
The St-Albert Cheese Co-op insists it's safe to eat all of their products.
There are already many preventative measures in place at the St-Albert Cheese Co-op for employees, including temperature checks when employees arrive at the facility. Léveillé says a temperature check is how the first case was identified.
"The employee presented with a mild fever and head ache and we sent him to be tested right away and he turned out to be positive."
The St. Albert Cheese Co-op factory store will reopen on Saturday, Feb. 27. In a statement, the co-op says there will be no fresh curds or blocks available.
CTV News Ottawa has reached out to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit for more information.
Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis told reporters late Thursday afternoon that the Eastern Ontario Health Unit is investigating the cases at St-Albert Cheese Co-op and more information will be released on Friday.
UPDATE: The St-Albert Cheese Co-op said Saturday that production will begin in a limited capacity on Monday, Mar. 1.