Maple Leaf Foods is temporarily suspending the exports of pork products to China after dozens of workers at the company's plant in Brandon, Man. tested positive for COVID-19, it announced in a release on Wednesday.
The company says it's doing so because of a Chinese protocol that requires any plant reporting a COVID-19 positive case suspend exports to China temporarily.
"We respect China's new import protocols for Canadian products and are working cooperatively with Canadian and Chinese authorities to resume exports quickly," said Michael McCain, President and CEO in a release.
On Monday, Manitoba's chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said 56 cases of COVID-19 in the province are related to a business in the city, which previous media reports have identified as the Maple Leaf Foods plant.
Roussin maintains the workers contracted the virus outside of the workplace.
Employees at a Maple Leaf plant in Lethbridge, Alta. are also affected, the company confirms.
The company says it will also give 500,000 free masks to people in Brandon to reduce the spread of the virus.