German slaughterhouse to continue operating after coronavirus outbreak

German slaughterhouse to continue operating after coronavirus outbreak
The Wiesenhof slaughterhouse in Lohne. Photo: DPA
A chicken slaughterhouse will continue operating on Monday despite a coronavirus outbreak among its personnel, local authorities said.

Some 66 out of 1,200 employees of the slaughterhouse from the company Wiesenhof in Lohne, in the district of Vechta, Lower Saxony, tested positive for the coronavirus during routine tests given to every employee present on site.

The so-called “seven day incidence” of outbreaks, however, remained at 41.13. When the critical number of 50 cases per 1,000 residents is reached, districts are able to impose measures such as a lockdown.

Vechta district authorities stated that Wiesenhof employees had been infected outside of the workplace, but the company reported local infections in the packaging department, reported German broadcaster NDR

As a result, a complete disinfection of the Wiesenhof site is planned and the supervisory staff at the slaughterhouse is to be strengthened. Additional break rooms were to be created, and work shifts were to be separated. 

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Other outbreaks 

In June, two districts in North Rhine-Westphalia were placed under lockdown following a coronavirus outbreak at the Tönnies slaughterhouse, the largest in Germany. More than 1,500 of 7,000 workers had tested positive for Covid-19. 

The lockdowns, which affected more than 6,000 people, have since been lifted. 

READ ALSO: Germany orders first local locksdown following coronavirus outbreak

Recent outbreaks of coronavirus at slaughterhouses have called into question how the meat industry operates. 

Tönnies vowed on Friday to regularly inspect its premises and practices, and routinely test workers going forward, yet activist groups such as Greenpeace say a complete overhaul of the industry is needed.

READ ALSO: Germany's largest slaughterhouse reopens – under stricter conditions


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