Germany: Over 650 coronavirus cases at slaughterhouse in north-west of country

Operations at the German leading meat processing company Toennies in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, in the district of Guetersloh, near Bielefeld, were suspended after 657 people tested positive for COVID-19, as announced by the authorities on Wednesday. On Thursday, the premises of the meat plant were seen nearly deserted. Over 1,000 workers were tested and some 7,000 people were put in quarantine due to possible exposure to the coronavirus. In response to the outbreak, local authorities decided to shut down the operations at the meat company and close all schools and daycare centres until the summer holidays, on June 29. This is not the first time a meat processing plant has found itself at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak. Since the pandemic started, the meat industry has been criticised for not respecting coronavirus hygiene and safety rules, as some 130,000 people are employed in 1,500 slaughterhouses across Germany. Toennies is going through its second wave of COVID-19 infection this year.

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