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Health officials declare COVID-19 outbreak at Amazon facility north of Calgary

Last Updated May 2, 2020 at 11:21 am MDT

FILE - This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo, shows the Amazon logo in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon employees say that the company has threatened to fire some workers for publicly pushing the company to do more to combat climate change. A climate change advocacy group founded by employees said Amazon sent letters to members telling them that they could be fired if they continued to speak out to the press. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — Alberta Health Services has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Amazon facility in Balzac, just north of Calgary, after five workers tested positive for the disease.

“It is not yet clear if all five are linked with a common exposure,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced at Friday’s daily update.

“Additional measures have been put in place to prevent spread,” she added.

Two positive cases of the virus were found at Calgary Alpha House. A rapid response team is now supporting this location to put outbreak measures in place.

Numbers in care homes and meatpacking plants in Alberta continue to climb.

Health officials announced 921 COVID-19 cases have been found in workers at the High River Cargill facility, 390 confirmed cases at the JBS plant in Brooks, and 580 cases in outbreaks in continuing care facilities across the province.

Hinshaw commended the work being done by frontline public health professionals as they work around the clock to contain the spread.

“They are working quickly to contain the spread, providing public health guidance to employers and operators, testing anyone who may have been exposed and supporting those who have become ill.”

Three more people have died due to COVID-19, all of which were in continuing care facilities.

This brings Alberta’s death toll to 92. Of those, 59 have been in the Calgary Zone.

Hinshaw also announced 218 new cases of the virus pushing the total number of illnesses to 5,573.

There have now been 2,359 recoveries.