Germany Sees Huge Outbreak at Slaughterhouse

Some 475 people tested positive for the new coronavirus.

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BERLIN — Authorities in the western German region of Guetersloh have ordered the closure of all schools and childcare centers after hundreds of workers at Germany’s biggest slaughterhouse tested positive for COVID-19.

Regional daily Westfalen-Blatt reported Wednesday that some 475 people tested positive for the new coronavirus, adding to 128 cases already known. A further 400 test results were still pending.

The outbreak at the Toennies slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck has pushed the number of cases in the region far above the government’s threshold for emergency measures, which is set at 50 new infections in a week per 100,000 inhabitants.

Officials planned to announce later Wednesday whether further measures will be taken, such as closing stores and restaurants, to contain the outbreak.

Westfalen-Blatt reported that officials believe some of the cases were imported from other countries by migrant workers who took advantage of newly reopened European borders to visit their families.

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