Posted on Feb 15, 2021

The following is a statement from Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley on the temporary closure of the Olymel plant in Red Deer amid an outbreak of COVID-19:

“There have been more than 300 cases of COVID-19 reported at the Olymel plant in Red Deer. One worker has died. 

“There are 1,850 employees in all at the plant, working in tight quarters. We have seen similar situations get out of control.

“I am glad the plant owners have finally listened to calls from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and are shutting down the plant. We have seen a memo from Alberta Health Services indicating one-in-five workers at the plant may be infected with COVID-19 already and all efforts must be made to stop further spread. I hope the Olymel plant remains closed until the safety of all workers there can be assured.

“We also continue to monitor the situation closely at other plants, namely one run by Cargill in High River, which remains the site of the largest outbreak of COVID-19 in Canada since the pandemic began.

“Worker health and safety must always be a priority, especially when attempting to contain a virus that has killed 1,780 Albertans and infected more than 100,000.”