A coronavirus outbreak at a meat-packing facility in High River, Alta., has led operators to “temporarily idle” processes.

Effective Monday, April 20, employees at the Cargill Meat Solutions plant were starting the process of idling operations, the company said in an emailed statement.

Cargill didn’t specify what it meant to “idle” the operations, nor what it meant for the plant’s employees.

An outbreak at the facility has been linked to at least 358 cases of COVID-19, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Friday.

The company made changes to its operations early last week, when the number of cases among staff was reportedly 38, according to the union representing the workers.

1:21AHS to set up dedicated COVID-19 assessment centre at Cargill meat plant

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As a means of reducing exposure and risk, Cargill reduced shifts at the plant, eliminating its second daily shift and offering employees who were healthy enough to work hours on the first shift.

On Friday, the Opposition NDP called on the UCP government to shut the plant down until it could be deemed safe for employees as well as the surrounding community.

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