The first official cases of a COVID-19 variant in the territory served by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) led to a temporary shutdown of a popular cheese factory and attraction in Eastern Ontario.

On Thursday, February 25, the St-Albert Cheese Cooperative announced on its Facebook page that there are three confirmed cases of a COVID-19 variant among its employees.  The cooperative is collaborating with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and all other employees at the cheese factory are being tested.

An additional case of a COVID-19 variant has also been confirmed by they EOHU, but its origins are not connected to the St-Albert cheese cases.

The cheese factory and store in St-Albert was closed on Friday, February 26, but reopened on Saturday, February 27.  The factory was to stay closed for three more days while test results were obtained, and the situation re-evaluated.

Due to the stoppage of factory production, no fresh curds or blocks of fresh cheddar are available.

The EOHU has emphasized to the public that it is safe to eat St-Albert cheese products.

The St-Albert Cheese Cooperative has assured the public that it is taking all measures possible to keep staff and customers safe.