Fraser Health Public Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Loblaws Inc., a distribution centre located at 2755 190 St. in South Surrey, after nine staff working at the facility tested positive for the virus.
According to a news release issued just before 4 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 20), all employees at the facility are being screened as a result, and case and contact management is ongoing.
Those identified as cases and close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate, the release adds.
Fraser Health is to inspect the site – described as operating at normal capacity – today, “and we are continuing to work with the facility to strengthen their COVID-19 mitigation strategies,” the release states.
“There is no demonstrated evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through consumption of packaged foods, is a foodborne illnesses or is linked to transmission of any foodborne illnesses,” it continues.
“Consequently, there is no evidence of risk to those outside the distribution centre. People are reminded to do their part to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the community by staying home when they are sick, practising physical distancing, washing their hands frequently, and keeping their social circle small and consistent.”
The site’s first COVID-19 case was confirmed in early May. At that time, a Loblaws spokesperson told Peace Arch News that “a number of steps to protect our colleagues” had been taken, including removing equipment that the individual worked with for deep cleaning and thoroughly sanitizing common areas.
“Additionally, colleagues who worked closely with this individual were sent home to self isolate and monitor for any symptoms,” the spokesperson added.