Provincial health officials confirmed Wednesday that a worker from the JBS meat packing plant near Brooks, Alta., has died while awaiting results from a COVID-19 test. 

“There are two additional deaths in Brooks in people with COVID (tests) pending, one of those was a worker at the JBS plant site,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Hinshaw said there are now 96 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among workers at the plant.

3:02Cargill meat plant temporarily closing amid COVID-19 outbreak

Cargill meat plant temporarily closing amid COVID-19 outbreak

In a statement to Global News, JBS spokesperson Cameron Bruett said the Brooks facility will remain open to continue to provide food for the country.

“We will not operate a facility if we do not believe it is safe.  We are working diligently to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and have adopted enhanced safety measures, health protocols and worker benefits to keep our workplaces, team members and products safe,” Bruett said.

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“We’re certain that the transmission is happening outside the plant at an exponential rate as compared to in,