The Abastos de Merida in the city’s west side. Photo: Facebook

A municipal meat market will be closed for 14 days starting Monday after health workers found 17 out of 35 workers there tested positive for COVID-19.

The city-run Abastos de Merida Rastro Municipal, an open-air market, has slaughtered and sold beef and pork on Merida’s west side since 1978. Holiday fairs are also held on the spacious grounds.

The move follows the closure of Merida’s largest marketplaces, San Benito and Lucas de Gálvez, after 47 randomly selected vendors tested positive for the highly contagious virus. All three meeting points are being scrubbed and disinfected. The larger sites are due to open next week.

Protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus were already in place, city officials said, including sanitary filters at access points and requiring vulnerable workers — older people or those with pre-existing conditions — to stay home.

The use of mouth guards, gloves, goggles, masks and antibacterial gel was already in place. Entrances were equipped with thermometers to detect fever, as well as sinks and sanitary mats.

In common areas, ozone equipment was also installed to improve air quality, and the building was disinfected and sanitized daily, according to the city.

In addition, the staff had been divided into different shifts to avoid contact with each other.

A city statement referred to the measure as a precaution. The closure throws 140 employees out of work for two weeks.

Source: Reporteros Hoy

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