At least 10 employees at NE distribution centre worked while symptomatic
An inspection conducted by AHS revealed at least 10 employees worked at Westfair Foods while symptomatic for COVID-19
CALGARY -- An inspection done by Alberta Health Services of a Loblaws distribution centre in the city's northeast revealed that at least 10 employees were working while symptomatic with COVID-19.
Westfair Foods, located at 55 Freeport Boulevard NE, is currently dealing with its second outbreak of the virus according to Alberta Health Services.
The centre was found to have multiple potentially dangerous working conditions that contravened with current health orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alberta Health epidemiologists determined that at least 10 employees were working while symptomatic during an outbreak that the facility is currently dealing with.
The current outbreak at the facility has 60 cases connected to it, with 13 active cases and 47 listed as recovered.
In the report, AHS said masking for forklift operators was inconsistent, as multiple employees were seen unmasked during the inspection.
Forklift operators have accounted for 23 per cent and 30 per cent of the cases between the two outbreaks the facility has dealt with.
Alberta Health noted that forklift operators were expected to fulfill time quotas, which may have led to insufficient sanitization of equipment.
Surfaces were found to have been cleaned but not disinfected, and AHS said washrooms were not disinfected frequently enough.
The report concluded that not enough information was provided to staff about COVID-19 risks and precautions, as well as a lack of documentation on preventative systems put in place.
In an email to CTV, Loblaws said that the safety of all employees has been prioritized since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Specifically at our distribution centres, we have put a number of protocols in place, including daily health screening, increased sanitization efforts, and physical distancing requirements," Loblaws said.
"The report from AHS is not in line with our expectations for a site, and we’re working closely with the local public health team on next steps and any recommendations."
The facility is required to implement daily COVID-19 screening, record-keeping, as well as all employees must adhere to the mask mandate by Jan. 25.
A detailed re-launch plan or similar risk mitigation plan must be submitted to AHS by Jan. 29.