CALGARY -- Work will continue at the Cascades Recovery recycling facility in southeast Calgary following an outbreak of COVID-19.

A total of 16 employees have now tested positive, said Hugo D'Amours, vice-president of communications at Cascades Recovery, which is a private company where material collected in blue bins is sent for sorting.

A total of 125 people work there, so it is a "significant outbreak," said Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson.

"We're appreciative of the work they are doing to control that outbreak," he said.

"We know that it has the potential to affect the blue cart program and that could see a delay of a day or something like that, but at this point in time the program is operating. They've done a deep clean of the facility and they're doing all that work that would be required and they are working closely with Alberta Health Services to ensure there is not a problem."

The outbreak began with three cases, which then grew to 13, and to 16 on Tuesday.

Sampson said an assessment showed there is no risk to city staff members who are dropping materials at the facility.

"There's no risk to the public of that outbreak going further, but we're always concerned for our friends who we are in business with, who are contractors with us," he said.

D'amours said staff is being given masks, visors, gloves and other PPE equipment.

Upon arrival, every staff member gets a temperature check and is asked to fill out a questionnaire about potential symptoms.

A crew is also onsite during work hours to sanitize the facility.

There are Cascades Recovery locations across North America and the Calgary facility is currently the largest outbreak.