No other cases: Ross Video resumes production in Iroquois while single employee recovers from COVID-19

Some of Ross Video's staff gathered at the firm's Ottawa headquarters in May 2019 to celebrate a deal with Red Bull. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

IROQUOIS — They’re back to work at Ross Video in Iroquois this morning after three days of shutdown as a result of a single employee’s positive test for COVID-19.

The company says no other employees have tested positive in the ensuing response to that one infection. Staff members on the same crew as the positive individual were tested, says Jeff Poapst, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing and Services at Ross.

“Iroquois has been split. Roughly half the team is working from home,” Poapst explained. “Those who have to come to the factory to work have been divided into two crews, kept fully separate with cleaning between each team. Crew 1 works three 12 hour days in the first half of the week, and Crew 2 the same in the second half. All staff on the same crew as the positive case have been tested before returning to work. The other crew may elect to be tested but it’s considered unnecessary by our team and by the health unit.”

“Contact tracing is complete and test results are almost complete,” he also said in an email. “As expected, testing reveals only the one positive case in our facility, and that team member is recovering.”

Poapst also took aim at the “rumours and speculation in the community around this situation,” writing: “We have taken pains to preserve the privacy and confidentiality of the team member who, through no fault of their own contracted COVID-19. 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.”

“It appears that our internal controls and protocols have been effective and prevented spread of the virus in our workplace,” he observed, adding those controls are being maintained, unchanged, after review with public health officials.

“Working with both the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has been excellent. All of our interactions have been thorough, prompt, patient, respectful and professional, and our staff has been very impressed.  I’d like to thank our staff and members of the health units for their patience and cooperation.”

The company’s brush with the virus, he also observed, “reinforces the need to follow physical distancing protocols in the community and protect our more vulnerable members.”

Today headquartered in Ottawa, Ross Video Ltd. was founded in Iroquois in 1974. The burgeoning tech firm’s global production facility remains in the South Dundas village, employing 225 people at the 65,000-square-foot operation.

Below, in footage captured by NVN’s lens last May, the clip here shows Ross Video camera robots at the company’s Ottawa research facility. All manufacturing occurs at the company’s flagship Iroquois plant.
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