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COVID-19 outbreak at Procter & Gamble Belleville

Today, Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) confirms a COVID-19 outbreak at Procter & Gamble, 355 University Ave., Belleville.

HPEPH has confirmed nine cases of COVID-19 among individuals at the site. There is also one additional case posted Monday, related to close contact for a total Nov. 30 of 32 active cases in the region.

Oglaza said P&G is working closely with HPEPH and has provided contact information for the individuals who were on site at P&G Belleville between Nov. 15-25.

“Several people identified as high-risk contacts have been instructed by HPEPH to self-isolate immediately and to get tested. Once tested, they are required to remain in quarantine for 14 days after their exposure, regardless of test results.”

While HPEPH does not typically disclose the location of a workplace outbreak in order to protect individuals’ privacy, this information is disclosed when needed to meet public health objectives such as contact tracing.

“It is incredibly important that impacted individuals isolate immediately and seek testing as directed by public health in order to prevent further local transmission of COVID-19,” said Dr. Oglaza. “While the risk to the community from this outbreak is considered low at this time, it serves as an important reminder to residents of Hastings Prince Edward to continue to follow public health guidance at all times, whether in the workplace, out in the community or at home.”

The products manufactured at the P&G Belleville site, feminine hygiene and incontinence products, pose no risk of transmission to the public and can be safely used, Dr. Oglaza confirms.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, P&G has worked collaboratively with HPEPH to implement robust safety protocols including employee screening, social distancing, mandatory masks, enhanced disinfecting procedures and frequent hand sanitizing to protect the health and well-being of our employees, contractors, and the community,” says Mutazz Akour, P&G Belleville Plant Senior Director.

“We will continue to assist HPEPH to ensure that they have all the information they need to complete contact tracing.”

HPEPH recommends all residents practice five fundamental actions to protect themselves and others:

Stay home when ill, as directed by provincial assessment tools;
Always physical distance with those outside your household;
Wear a mask or face covering in public spaces, as well as when physical distancing is difficult or not possible;
Wash your hands often, and clean frequently touched surfaces;
Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

In addition, HPEPH asks that all individuals avoid non-essential travel and stay as close to home as possible.

“This is especially important when considering travel to and from regions with higher rates of COVID-19 transmission. It can be discouraging to witness increased rates of COVID-19 in our region, but be kind to one another as we work together to stop the spread of this virus.”

 

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