Cedar Meats abattoir reopens after it became the centre of one of Australia’s biggest coronavirus clusters – with at least 91 people infected
- Cedar Meats in Melbourne’s west has been linked to 91 cases of coronavirus
- The meat processing facility will reopen on Monday after a ten day shutdown
- Worksafe is investigating the abattoir’s hygiene and social distancing measures
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
An Australian abbatoir linked to a coronavirus outbreak of 91 people will reopen for business on Monday after a ten day shutdown.
Cedar Meats at Brooklyn, in Melbourne’s west closed for cleaning on April 1, and all 300 staff were ordered to undergo testing for COVID-19 after three confirmed cases among workers.
The outbreak has affected a total of 91 people, prompting questions around the company’s processes and the Victorian state government’s handling of the cluster.
A spokeswoman for Cedar Meats confirmed some of the operations will begin on Monday in a statement to the Herald Sun.
Cedar Meats at Brooklyn, in Melbourne ‘s north closed for cleaning on April 1, and all 300 staff were ordered to undergo testing for COVID-19 after three confirmed cases among workers
‘Cedar Meats is restarting its cold storage facility on Monday 18 May 2020. Cedar Meats is not recommencing production on 18 May 2020. The cold storage facility requires a minimum of staff, the spokeswoman said.
‘Restarting the cold storage facility has been planned with the advice and support of the public health team at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Menawhile WorkSafe has confirmed it will investigate the Brooklyn abattoir over its protocols around COVID-19.
The probe will examine whether social distancing measures were in place at the meat processing facility, and if workers were provided with appropriate personal protective equipment and hand sanitiser.
The outbreak has affected a total of 91 people, prompting questions around the company’s processes and the Victorian state government’s handling of the cluster
The investigations follow claims from workers they weren’t given face masks until six days after the first positive case was identified, reported the Guardian.
Authorities initially suggested the first case at the facility was identified on April 27, but later admitted an employee contracted the virus three weeks earlier, on April 2.
Medics are still working to establish the source of infection.
The Victorian state government and Premier Daniel Andrews have been facing a grilling over the government’s response to the coronavirus cluster.
But the state government and Cedar Meats’ management have defended their handling of the outbreak, including the decision to allow staff to work for several days after workers tested positive.
But Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton on Thursday admitted they could have acted earlier.
‘Maybe we shouldn’t have waited for a third linked case,’ he told 3AW radio.
‘Maybe for these settings we should shut an entire place down, not just the boning room where it all started, but an entire facility.’
Cedar Meats general manager Tony Kairouz said WorkSafe had advised him of the investigation.
‘We welcome it. We will co-operate fully,’ Mr Kairouz said in a statement to AAP on Wednesday.
Cedar Meats’ management have defended their handling of the outbreak, including the decision to allow staff to work for several days after workers tested positive (Pictured: medical staff test a man at a COVID0-19 testing clinic)