Greenhill Produce operation on Kent Bridge Rd. (Photo courtesy of Produce operation on Kent Bridge Rd. (Photo courtesy of

Greenhill Produce COVID-19 outbreak officially over

The COVID-19 outbreak at Greenhill Produce has been declared officially over by the medical officer of health in Chatham-Kent.

Dr. David Colby made the announcement at the Board of Health meeting on Wednesday saying there are no active cases at the greenhouse operation in Kent Bridge and the last round of 54 tests came back negative.

The outbreak at Greenhill Produce started in late April when dozens of migrant workers were likely infected by an employee who lives in the community. The outbreak later spread to a total of 103 workers after more of the workforce likely caught the virus from agricultural workers contracted from Leamington.

Colby said he has a great team that did spectacular work.

"This is a matter of great celebration for the team because since April 21 this has been the consuming issue with regard to COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent," he said.

Colby said cleaning up the outbreak at Greenhill was very frustrating.

"We're going to keep a close eye to make sure things stay that way. I just couldn't be happier than reporting that to the board. It's been an incredible journey," added Colby.

CK Public Health also reported on Wednesday that active cases remain at four and they're all self-isolating.

Dr. Colby also told board members that migrant workers and their employers in Chatham-Kent are well instructed of the dos and don'ts for screening and preventing COVID-19.

He said farms and greenhouses who employ migrant workers were given information at the end of April about self-monitoring and self-isolation, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, a daily health log sheet for employers to use, proper hand hygiene instructions, and information on caring for ill individuals.

Dr. Colby added public health inspectors have also been in contact with employers to determine if they have proper housing to accommodate the 14-day quarantine period and appropriate physical distancing. He also said local bunkhouses are inspected every eight months and before the foreign agricultural workers arrive at the site for the growing season.

Farms and greenhouses in Chatham-Kent have also been told recently that their temporary migrant workers must be tested during days 10-12 of the quarantine period and the results must be negative before any new workers begin work at the premises. Colby is also strongly recommending that agricultural workers not work at multiple sites and shouldn't come from other jurisdictions, an issue that prolonged the outbreak at Greenhill.

Dr. Colby added that Ontario Health will have a directive soon on long term testing for migrant workers.

Read More Local Stories