Alliance worker tests positive for virus

A worker at an Alliance Group meatworks in South Canterbury has tested positive for Covid-19.

The worker went home sick from Alliance’s Smithfield plant on April 6 after telling his manager he was unwell.

The worker then went into self-isolation and has not returned to work since and a positive test for Covid-19 came back on April 14.

Alliance Group’s general manager of people & safety Chris Selbie said the worker was recovering well at home and tracing of close contacts was under way.

The plant is open and continuing to operate after advice from the South Canterbury District Health Board, he said.

“The health and wellbeing of our people is paramount.

‘‘We recognise this will be a concerning time for our people and our thoughts are with the employee and his family.

“The employee did the right thing and alerted his manager.

"We’re now supporting him and his family.’’

Mr Selbie said the company had taken ‘‘unprecedented steps’’ to keep employees safe from Covid-19.

“Our people are working two metres apart unless other effective Personal Protective Equipment and measures are in place to protect them such as safety glasses, gloves, splash guards, face-masks or visors.

“We have further increased the cleaning/disinfection of processing areas. Our people are also being regularly reminded about the importance of good hygiene practice at work and at home. We are staggering breaks to avoid large numbers of people in the same place and implementing restrictions on transport to/from work.”

Mr Selbie said the company was working hard to balance keeping people safe, managing animal welfare issues with farmers as well as preserving jobs.

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