By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

In British Columbia, Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a mink farm in the Fraser Valley.

British Columbia

After at least eight workers on the farm tested positive for COVID-19, five mink samples were collected and submitted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg and were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2. The OIE-World Organisation for Animal Health was notified under international reporting requirements.

The results were expected, considering the interaction between infected workers and mink on the farm. Testing to determine genome sequencing and the strain of the virus continues. Results are anticipated soon.

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Under the BC Animal Health Act, the mink farm has been ordered to restrict the transport of animals, products and goods from the farm. Animal welfare is being supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and testing of animals is underway. Enhanced measures are in place to ensure the safety of animals and farm owners. A plan is in place to provide feed and care to the mink during the outbreak.

All employers in B.C., including mink farms, are required to implement COVID-19 Safety Plans. This plan includes a requirement to assess the risks to workers and implement measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. WorkSafeBC’s Consultation & Education Services team is reaching out directly to other mink farms in B.C. to discuss requirements.

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