Cargill to reopen Guelph plant Dec. 29 while outbreak levels off

GUELPH – The Cargill beef processing plant on Dunlop Drive in Guelph is preparing to reopen on Dec. 29 after more than 80 employees tested positive for COVID-19 and the facility temporarily closed last week.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health declared the facility in outbreak on Dec.17.

At that time, 82 employees had tested positive for the coronavirus, 129 were in quarantine and Cargill voluntarily closed the plant.

On Dec. 23 public health was reporting 79 active cases and a total of 125 case counts at Cargill.

Daniel Sullivan, Cargill spokesperson, stated in an email on Dec. 23, “I can confirm that we plan to begin reopening our Guelph-Dunlop primary beef facility … [on Dec. 29].

“This decision comes after careful deliberations among Cargill leadership and discussions with the union and local health authorities.”

Sullivan said the facility will be closed on New Year’s Day for the statutory holiday, and resume operations Jan. 2 with some changes to shifts.

He said employees will be paid during the shutdown.

“Employees should not come to work with COVID-19 symptoms or if they have had contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days,” said Sullivan.

“We remain focused on keeping people healthy and delivering safe food to people across Canada.”