Grand River Foods on Wheel Avenue in Abbotsford. (Google Maps)

A food processing plant in the Fraser Health region has been ordered to close after nearly two dozen staff members recently tested positive for COVID-19.

The health authority issued a notice Sunday about Grand River Foods, a processing plant on Wheel Avenue in Abbotsford.

"To date, 22 employees of the facility have tested positive for COVID-19 as part of this outbreak," a notice issued by Fraser Health says.

"Case and contact management is ongoing. Those identified as cases and close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate."

Fraser Health says it first identified a cluster of cases on Feb. 2 and the outbreak was declared on Feb. 19. The site was last inspected on Feb. 18 and the site has since been ordered to close.

The health authority says it's working with staff to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the disease. It's also working with the facility to improve its COVID-19 mitigation plan.

"According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, there is no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission for the virus," Fraser Health's statement says.

"At this time, there have been no reported cases of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19."

As a result, Fraser Health said a recall of chicken products from this plant isn't required.

Other processing plants in the Lower Mainland have also managed outbreaks throughout the pandemic. In December, nine staff members at Rossdown Farms in Abbotsford tested positive for the disease, but that facility wasn't ordered to close. 

That same month, Wingtat Game Bird Packers, did close after 30 employees tested positive. 

And, early in the pandemic, 28 employees at a Vancouver poultry processing plant tested positive after at least some workers reportedly felt they had to keep going to work even while they felt sick. 

Fraser Health says the CFIA requires that these establishments have COVID-19 prevention documentation on-hand that outline their mitigation measures and response to a confirmed case of the disease.