More than 2.000 cases of coronavirus connected to Tönnies abattoir outbreak
According to the Health Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, more than 2.000 cases of coronavirus have been identified in connection to the outbreak at a Tönnies slaughterhouse last month.
The slaughterhouse outbreak
NRW’s Minister for Health, Karl-Josef Laumann, told reporters, “According to the current status, the competent authorities have assigned a total of 2.119 cases to the outbreak at Tönnies.” A further 67 cases have been identified as having a possible connection with the slaughterhouse outbreak, although no deaths have been reported.
Laumann told reporters that 41 people who had definitely contracted the virus during the slaughterhouse outbreak had been treated in hospital. He also reiterated that the temporary closure of the abattoir was legal and therefore Tönnies was not entitled to the reimbursement of wages. “I assume that this will also stand up in court,” Laumann said, referring to Tönnies' previous claim that it would insist on compensation.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak last month, the Tönnies abattoir, situated next to the company’s headquarters in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, closed for around four weeks. The residents of Gütersloh and Warendorf were temporarily placed back under lockdown in an attempt to contain the outbreak.
The company announced permanent changes on Thursday. One such change was that 1.000 workers will receive an employment contract directly in Rheda-Wiedenbrück by September 1. The company stated that, by the end of the year, it planned to “employ all employees in the core areas directly at the company.” The company is also planning on renting 400 residential spaces in Rheda-Wiedenbrück to house future employees.
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