An update from Maple Lodge Farms regarding the ongoing COVID -19 Pandemic
Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise again in Ontario, with over 200 new cases being reported by the Province each day for the past four days. With the further opening of businesses and schools, and more activities moving indoors as the cooler weather approaches, this trend is concerning and requires our collective efforts to stop this trend and prevent a second wave of the disease.
At MLF, after a prolonged period of having no reported employee cases*, this past week we have been notified by an employee that they have tested positive for COVID-19. Although Peel Public Health has deemed that there is no risk to our workplace due to the particular circumstances and length of time the employee was outside of the workplace prior to experiencing symptoms, this incident serves as an important reminder that the disease is still present in our communities and that we must continue to consistently practice prevention measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our homes, workplaces and social groups.
As such, we continue to impress upon our employees the constant need to follow all preventive measures carefully, both inside and outside of the workplace, in order to protect their health.
Some of the preventive measures we have put in place in the workplace include the following:
- We have suspended all visitors to our facility outside of those deemed essential to the operation of our business for example, contractors and delivery drivers
- We maintain a strict screening policy, ensuring only healthy people enter our workplace
- We require all employees and essential visitors to wear masks at all times in all areas of our facilities
- We have added temporary lunchroom spaces and equipped all common spaces with multiple, portable hand-washing and sanitization stations
- We have imposed physical distancing measures in our common spaces including the installation of Plexiglas shields in between adjacent seating areas in our cafeteria
- We have equipped all of our production employees with personal protective equipment over and above that which may be required in the course of their usual duties, including masks, face shields, aprons, and gloves
- We have staggered our production shifts for better physical distancing
- We have implemented precautionary and frequent deep cleaning initiatives and added ongoing cleaning rotations for frequently used areas/surfaces to our already rigorous sanitation procedures
- We communicate openly and frequently with our employees through bulletins, letters and tv monitors in common spaces to keep them informed and provide them information on handwashing and other hygiene measures, as well as tips on how to stay safe outside of the workplace
- We meet weekly with our onsite CFIA management team to share information and establish collaborative efforts to keep all of our employees safe
- We work together with the rest of our industry to share knowledge and develop best practices, and continue to consult with health experts and regulators to ensure that we are doing the best possible job in combating the spread of this disease.
Although we are confident in the preventive measures we have put in place, we remain focused on continuous improvement, updating our policies, procedures and preventive measures, as knowledge and science evolves, in order to keep our employees, communities, suppliers and customers safe, and our business running.
We encourage everyone to remain vigilant in their prevention practices in order to reduce the risk of a second wave. Together we can combat this disease.
*From the onset of the pandemic, we have been notified of 31 employees receiving positive test results.
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