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COVID-19 cases pile up at poultry plant, Metro Vancouver grocery stores

Sunrise plant services much of B.C.
A women overlooks produce in a grocery store. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Employees from several major grocery and drug store chains across Metro Vancouver have been confirmed as having coronavirus (COVID-19), according to parent companies. As well, Fraser Health has shut down a poultry plant that services much of the region due to COVID-19 cases.

Sobeys, Inc., which operates familiar B.C. stores like Safeway and Thrifty Foods, as well as is the franchisor of the FreshCo discount grocery store chain, updated its online employee case tracker to indicate the following affected stores in the region:

  • Safeway - 1611 Davie Street , Vancouver: Last day the employee worked was April 27
  • Safeway 3410 Kingsway St., Vancouver.
  • Safeway - 990 King Edward West, Vancouver: Last day the employee worked was April 26
  • FreshCo - 7165 – 138 Street, Surrey: Last day the franchise employee worked was April 30
  • Safeway - 8860 – 152 Street, Surrey: Last day the employee worked was April 29

Additionally, Sobeys reports new store staff cases in Dawson Creek and Kelowna, B.C. 

Meanwhile, Loblaw Companies Ltd updated its COVID-19 employee case tracker May 4 to indicate the following affected stores in B.C.:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 370 East Broadway, Vancouver: The last day the team member worked was on May 1.
  • Real Canadian Superstore, 7550 King George Boulevard, Surrey: Multiple team members tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Real Canadian Superstore, 350 S.E. Marine Drive, Vancouver
  • Real Canadian Superstore, 14650 - 104th Avenue, Surrey: The last day any of the four infected team members worked was on April 20, 22, 23 and 28.

None of the above-listed stores is considered a "public exposure" location by Vancouver Coastal Health or Fraser Health, and neither health authority or WorkSafeBC has closed down any of the stores due to elevated COVID-19 case counts. 

While T&T Supermarket is owned by Loblaw, the Canadian Asian grocery chain lists its COVID-19 cases separately on its own site, but there have been no new cases in the last few days to report so far in May. 

Fraser Health Public Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd., a poultry processing plant located at 13542 73A Ave., Surrey, that supplies poultry products across Metro Vancouver and around B.C.

Twenty-nine staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Public Health has issued a closure order for 10 days effective May 7, 2021. Those identified as cases and close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate.

According to Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), there is no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission for the virus. At this time, there have been no reported cases of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. Therefore, no recall of chicken products distributed from this plant is required.

All Canadians should continue to follow good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, such as:

• Washing hands with soap and water

• Regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces

- With additional reporting by Lindsay William-Ross, Vancouver is Awesome