Owners of a Kent Bridge area greenhouse report 11 people who work there have tested positive for COVID-19
Greenhill Produce, located on River Line, produces peppers in its 125-acre facility.
“As of today’s date, we have 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst our workforce, who are currently experiencing mild symptoms. We are working closely with CK Public Health to manage this issue and we have informed the Municipality of Chatham-Kent who has offered their assistance and support,” according to the company’s media release. “There is nothing more important to Greenhill Produce than the health and safety of our workforce and our local community.”
A total of 250 people work at the greenhouse, and everyone has been tested for COVID-19. So far, three have come back negative and the company expects to hear back on the remaining tests by the middle of this coming week.
“The affected employees are members of our migrant workforce and all have been living in Chatham-Kent for at least four months and up to 18 months. We currently have 113 migrant workers living here, from Jamaica, Mexico and Guatemala,” according to the Greenhill release.
Fifteen migrant workers recently arrived at Greenhill Produce and were placed in isolation as per federal requirements. None has had contact with the affected employees or any other employees during their isolation.
“We have contacted consular officials of the home countries of our migrant workers to advise them of the situation.”
Affected employees live in two of seven residences. They have been isolated as per public health guidelines and instruction.
The cases started showing up last Wednesday, as there were six cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the workforce April 22. All six were from Guatemala and have been Chatham-Kent residents for 18 months, according to Greenhill officials.
The remainder of the positive cases have been confirmed since that time.
“We are supporting all of our employees. We will continue to co-04ordinate with local health authorities to ensure all recommended procedures are followed. Containment of the virus and the recovery of our staff are our top priorities,” according to the release.
Greenhill was founded in 2001, and about three quarters of what is produced is exported.