France hit by new Covid-19 outbreaks in two abattoirs

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Around a hundred people are believed to have been infected by the coronavirus in newly discovered outbreaks in two French abattoirs.

One abattoir is in the central Val de Loire region near the city of Orléans. The other is in the northwestern region of Brittany.

Regional health officials said 63 of the 209 workers at the Breton slaughterhouse had so far tested positive for the virus.

At the slaughterhouse in Fleury-les-Aubrais, near Orléans, officials there said they had detected a “cluster” of 34 cases among the 400 workers. Another 40 were tested on Sunday with others following on Tuesday.

“According to the company’s human resources department, there were masks, gels, temperature readings at the entrance to the slaughterhouse and it seems that the protocol was followed,” said regional prefect Pierre Pouessël.

But staff at the plant said that despite the protective gear, social distancing rules have been difficult to follow. “It’s above all [been a problem] in the changing rooms. There’s not a lot of space,” one unidentified worker said.

At the local market, residents say they are worried about the outbreak taking place at a food production plant. “It makes you not want to buy meat because you wonder if the meat is contaminated. It’s scary,” a Fleury-les-Aubrais resident said.

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