CALGARY -- Workers at a chicken processing plant in southeast Calgary are scared to go to work, according to the union that represents them, after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Union local 401 spokesman Michael Hughes says the employee last worked at the Lilydale plant in Ramsay on April 15. 

He says Alberta Health Services is now in contact with the company, Sofina Foods, and working to address any potential spread. 

Hughes says roughly 400 people work at the plant and he has heard concerns over safety because it continues to run at full capacity and employees are “crammed elbow-to-elbow.”

He says the union sent a letter to the company earlier this week, calling for the plant to be temporarily shut down. 

“We need to be as preventative as possible. We would rather be over cautious than have somebody die," said Hughes.

He says the company is being responsive but the union wants to get ahead of any possible outbreak seen at other meat processing plants.

CTV has reached out to Sofina Foods for comment but has not heard back.

A Cargill plant in High River and JBS in Brooks are said to be the cause of 17 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Alberta, with 580 people infected connected to Cargill and 96 to JBS.