Edmonton recycling facility reopens after COVID-19 outbreak
An Edmonton recycling facility has reopened, two weeks after it shut down operations due to an outbreak of COVID-19.
The Materials Recovery Facility at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre reopened on Wednesday. It was closed for 14 days after the City of Edmonton and facility operator Suez Canada Waste Services suspended services on June 9.
The outbreak was made pubic on June 19, when Alberta Health said 12 cases of COVID-19 had been linked to the outbreak to date.
After the facility closed, all employees at the facility were tested for the novel coronavirus, according to a spokesperson with the City of Edmonton.
Nicole Paradis, communications adviser with the City of Edmonton’s waste services, said that after Thursday afternoon Suez had confirmed 13 positive cases of COVID-19 related to the outbreak. A total of 109 tests for the novel coronavirus came back negative. The company is still awaiting the results of 10 tests, according to Paradis.
During the 14-day closure, Suez completed an intensive cleaning and disinfection of the facility. Alberta Health Services completed a follow-up inspection at Suez’s request, confirming the site was cleaned appropriately to reopen, Paradis said.
The city said Suez requires employees to wear masks when two metres of physical distance cannot be maintained. Masks are available for all employees, even if physical distancing can be maintained.
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“After the closure of the MRF but prior to reopening, Suez followed AHS recommendations and implemented additional precautions and protocols to further protect staff including additional PPE, signage, and cleaning stations, plus enhanced physical distancing measures, and mandatory COVID-19 testing prior to returning to the site to help ensure a safe environment,” Paradis said in an email to Global News.
The MRF is a 64,000-square- foot recycling facility located within the Edmonton Waste Management Centre that processes recyclables collected from Edmonton households.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were 506 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta. Of those, 222 active cases were located within the city of Edmonton.
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