Coronavirus Canada updates: Dozens of migrant workers at Ontario farm test positive

Coronavirus Canada Updates: B.C. records 640 new COVID-19 cases, 24 deaths Wednesday
Coronavirus Canada Updates: B.C. records 640 new COVID-19 cases, 24 deaths Wednesday

Eighty-five cases among migrant workers have been identified at a farm operation in Norfolk County, south of Simcoe, according to CBC.

The workers, many of whom are from Mexico, are employed by Scotlynn Group in Vittoria, which is a major producer of watermelon, sweet corn, pumpkins and asparagus.

Of the group of 85, five are in hospital because of the respiratory virus, while 25 are currently showing symptoms.

Migrant workers have been permitted to come to Canada amid the pandemic, but they must self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival. In early April, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau allocated $50 million in federal funding to help employers of migrant workers as they adapt to the challenges of COVID-19 quarantine rules.

The Norfolk County farm operation is not the first to experience a COVID-19 outbreak among its migrant workers. A farm in St. Thomas, Ontario Plants Propagation, saw 20 cases linked to their facility this past week, as it continues to await other test results. Multiple health units are currently contact tracing for the particular outbreak, since workers live in London, but travel to the Elgin County farm for daily work.

Thirty-three new cases in the agriculture sector were also reported on May 25, by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, but it did not specify which farms, greenhouses or other businesses had cases.

In late-April, 40 people at Greenhill Produce in Chatham-Kent were diagnosed with COVID-19, which forced the company to move about half of its workforce into isolation. Since the start of the outbreak in Chatham-Kent, 101 workers have contracted the respiratory virus.

Ontario continues its stretch of under 400 new daily cases, maintains high testing outputs

Ontario’s Ministry of Health reported 326 new cases of COVID-19, after completing 17,014 tests in its latest 24-hour stretch.

It marks the fourth straight day that health officials in Ontario have surpassed their goal of 16,000 tests. It’s also the sixth straight day that the province logged less than 400 new cases of COVID-19, after going through a five-day stretch over that mark.

As of May 31, Ontario’s seven-day averages are 337 cases out of 15,282 tests. On May 24, the seven-day averages stood at 407 cases out of 9,506 tests.

Along with the new cases, the Ministry of health reported 19 fatalities, increasing the death toll to 2,266.

Of its total cases, there are 21,810 people who have recovered from the respiratory virus, an increase of 457 since Saturday’s update. Across the province, there are 781 people in hospital (down by 20), which includes 118 in intensive care (down by three) and 90 who require a ventilator (up by six).

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Health, there remains 114 outbreaks around the province. Among those facilities, there are 1,642 residents who have passed away (an increase of six), while 1,184 people remain currently infected (down by 62). In addition, there are 986 active cases among staff members (down by 62), while seven have died.

Please see note at end of article with regards to Ontario’s long-term care reporting structure compared to the Ministry of Health’s.

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