Ross Video facility reopens after COVID-19 related shutdown

Ross Video’s Iroquois, Ontario, manufacturing facility was closed for three days following the positive COVID-19 result of an employee. The facility reopened June 5th. – (The Leader/Blancher photo)

IROQUOIS –Employees of the Ross Video facility in Iroquois returned to work today (Friday) after a three-day long shutdown due to the positive COVID-19 test result of an employee.

“Contact tracing is complete and test results are almost complete,” said Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Services Jeff Poapst. “As expected, testing reveals only the one positive case in our facility and that team member is recovering.”

The facility closed Tuesday, June 2nd after an employee received a positive COVID-19 test result Monday evening and notified the company of the result. The other employees of that shift were required to be tested for COVID-19 and contact tracing was done by the company in conjunction with the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

“I am pleased with how the company has been operating with physical distancing and its cleaning,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health with the EOHU. “I would say there is a very low risk to other employees being infected at that time.”

Roumeliotis said June 3rd that the positive COVID-19 result was not in the EOHU area, but attributed to a resident of the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Health Unit area.

At the time of the shutdown, Poapst said that the facility would be closed to allow any trace of the virus to decay in the plant. Following that, the plant was to be cleaned thoroughly.  He added that since the facility restarted operations in March, the plant was cleaned twice-a-day already.

For confidentiality reasons, the person who tested positive for COVID-19 has not been named. Poapst said he wanted to address some of the community speculation regarding the positive test result.

“We have taken pains to preserve the privacy and confidentiality of the team member who, through no fault of their own contracted COVID-19,” he told The Leader. “We’ve heard speculation about this person’s identity that have been incorrect. We want to avoid identifying anyone here for obvious reasons. More concerning are rumours of multiple cases, again blatantly wrong. I would ask members of the community to respect this individual’s privacy and allow them to recover in peace, and avoid speculating and potentially misidentifying our staff.”

Poapst added that Ross Video has reviewed its internal controls and protocols in the workplace, which have been effective in preventing spread of the virus in the workplace.

“We’ve reviewed our controls again with members of the Health Unit and are maintaining them, unchanged,” he said. “This reinforces the need to follow physical distancing protocols in the community and protect our more vulnerable members.”

The company has been working with both the EOHU and the LGLDHU throughout the week.

“All of our interactions have been thorough, prompt, patient, respectful and professional, and our staff has been very impressed,” Poapst said. “I’d like to thank our staff and members of the health units for their patience and cooperation.”

Since you’re here…

… Thanks for reading this article. Local news is important. We hope that you continue to support local news by reading The Leader, online and in print. Please consider subscribing to the print edition of the newspaper. Click here to subscribe today.