An update from Maple Lodge Farms regarding the ongoing COVID -19 Pandemic
This past week, Ontario reported a seven-day average of 919 new COVID-19 cases per day, underlining the fact that we must renew our resolve to consistently practice public health measures to prevent the further spread of this disease. As numbers continue to climb in Ontario, those regions with the greatest escalation of new cases – Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa – have been ordered back to modified stage II restrictions.
This week, we had an employee at our Mississauga Distribution Centre report that they had tested positive for COVID-19; our second reported case at this facility since the start of the pandemic. Across our Ontario operations, we have been notified of a total of 36 employees testing positive for the disease since mid-April.
Given the sustained threat of virus spread, 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. As an essential workplace, we are working hard to ensure that we can continue to keep food on the table of Canadians throughout these difficult times.
Once again, we encourage everyone to remain vigilant in their prevention practices in order to reduce the magnitude and impact of this second wave.
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