EDMONTON -- The situation facing workers at the Cargill Protein facility in High River, Alta. has gotten much worse, officials confirmed Friday.

The province announced there are now 358 confirmed cases of coronavirus among the workers and their households throughout southern Alberta.

"Some of these households are in surrounding communities, such as Calgary, and current information suggests that the cases in this outbreak are primarily linked to household transmission," Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health said during Friday's update.

Of the 2,397 cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, about 400 are from community transmission, she said.

"This number has increased and is a concern. The locations where transmission is happening will be part of my update next week once we have more time with the data."

Hinshaw says Alberta Health Services is working to track the outbreak connected to Cargill and prevent further infections.


Administrators at the Seasons Retirement Communities told CTV News Calgary it learned Friday four staff members had tested positive for COVID-19.

"The team members who tested positive have had close contact with someone in their household who works at the Cargill meat processing plant," read a statement from CEO Mike Lavallée.

"None of these team members have been at our retirement community since April 6th or earlier, and we have no resident cases at this time."

The development prompted the Calgary Zone medical officer to declare an 'outbreak status' at the facility.

Lavallée said the company is working with local and provincial health authorities to manage the situation.