Even Ontario's chocolate supply is being hit. Ferrero Canada Ltd. has announced that it has closed its Brantford, Ontario-based facility temporarily after an outbreak of COVID-19. The production plant has had seven workers contract the virus in recent days.
The plant in Brantford, near Hamilton, makes Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, and Tic Tac products and packages items for the Kinder chocolate brand, according to The Canadian Press via CP24 on Wednesday, April 29.
It closed on Tuesday evening after it was confirmed that seven workers had COVID-19.
Ferrero Canada's corporate communications director Stephanie Cass told Global News: "This afternoon we decided to suspend operations at the Brantford plant following confirmation of a total of seven cases of COVID-19 among plant employees."
Cass confirmed the employees had not been at the plant for nearly two weeks before getting their positive results. The workers were located in the same area of the plant.
Ferrero closed the plant "out of an abundance of caution" and will reopen it when the company is advised it can do so by health officials.
In the meantime, it will undergo deep cleaning. Cass said workers will be given some form of compensation for their time away from work.
Narcity reached out to Ferrero for more information.
The company had shut down parts of its plant on Friday after three employees tested positive, reports Global.
Those cases apparently surfaced within a week of one another, and the staff in question had already been self-isolating.
Per a local source, the Brantford Expositor, the region's acting medical officer of health said the Brant County Health Unit is working with Ferrero.
In particular, Dr. Elizabeth Urbantke said the company is working with the health unit on infection protection and control. Ferrero had been “very receptive," according to Urbantke.
The Brantford facility opened in 2006 and has over 1,000 employees.
It is the latest business to be hit by the pandemic in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area in recent weeks.
However, also on Wednesday, Ontario's latest stats suggested the province's new case total is the lowest it has been in three weeks.