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8 Mai 2020

Deutsche Welle

Coronavirus outbreak closes German meat-packing plant

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Following a COVID-19 outbreak at a meat processing plant in the town of Coesfeld, near the western German city of Münster, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has become the first to activate an "emergency mechanism" and delay the loosening of lockdown restrictions in the administrative district of Coesfeld until May 18...

The localized spike in cases comes after a test Thursday of 200 employees at the Westfleisch meat processing plant revealed 151 were positive for COVID-19. The company said 13 people have been hospitalized with moderate symptoms, and the rest are isolating with "mild" symptoms.The plant will be closed until further notice.

Laumann [NRW Health Minister] said the majority of workers were from Romania and Bulgaria, and their shared accommodation in tight quarters was a possible reason for the outbreak.

At the end of April, a similar outbreak at a meat processing plant in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg involved around 200 foreign workers who were infected.

Laumann said on Friday that an estimated 17,000-20,000 employees in all of the NRW's 35 slaughterhouses will be tested for COVID-19, included all 1,200 workers at the Westfleisch plant...