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High River meat packing plant temporarily stopping production

Last Updated Apr 21, 2020 at 6:25 am MST

CALGARY – The Cargill meat-packing plant in southern Alberta is temporarily shutting down as the result of COVID-19.

WATCH: Lack of PPE equipment for High River Cargill Workers

The High River plant, which employs more than 2,000 workers, has been linked to over 350 cases of the novel coronavirus – both at the plant and in the community.

READ MORE: High River Cargill workers being neglected PPE equipment amid COVID-19 outbreak

A company spokesman says it was a difficult decision to make as the plant is considered an essential service.

He is encouraging all employees to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

Production is to stop once meat already in the plant is processed to avoid any food waste.

It’s not clear how long the plant will be shuttered or if workers will be paid during the shutdown.