Chatham-Kent’s COVID-19 count reached 89 on Monday, with 54 of them listed as active and more than 50 of them coming from one workplace.
Chatham-Kent Public Health reports 51 of the cases are from Greenhill Produce, which first started reporting April 26 that staff there had contracted COVID-19. Initial reports had 11 people testing positive, but that shot up to 40 in less than 24 hours, and has reached 51 to date.
Of those 51, one has recovered, Public Health officials said, leaving 50 of the 54 active cases in Chatham-Kent tied to Greenhill.
According to Public Health, 34 people have recovered locally from COVID-19, while one person has died.
A total of 1,855 people have been tested, with 50 awaiting test results.
In regard to the Greenhill Produce numbers, the outbreak most likely spread from a local, said Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health.
At a press briefing prior to the outbreak, Chatham-Kent’s CAO Don Shropshire, said that migrant workers living in a bunkhouse would be treated like any large family living together.
At Thursday’s briefing, after the outbreak, Shropshire said that those current standards stood for now.
“At the present time, we are not looking at any different types of living conditions.” he said, adding that close proximity is an issue for other workers, such as those in army barracks or long-term care facilities.
“I don’t think it is reasonable now to say in the midst of COVID that we’re going to go out and be in a position where you can build all of the new bunk houses. We just have to double down on a lot of our infection control.”
Shropshire said that building codes fall under provincial statutes and once the pandemic is over they will be reviewing public health inspection protocols, building codes and fire codes to make sure that they’re compliant with the existing legislation.
Shropshire added that workers have been isolated in their barracks and Public Health team members are out every day doing inspections, accompanied by translators.