SAINT-ALEXANDRE-DE-KAMOURASKA, QUE. -- Public health authorities in Bas-Saint-Laurent are carrying out a major COVID-19 screening operation at a pork slaughtering and primary processing plant in Saint-Alexandre-de-Kamouraska, about two hours east of Quebec City.

In a news release published on Friday, Bas-Saint-Laurent health and social services (CISSS) announced that all employees of Asta Foods will undergo a screening test because of positive cases already declared.

The operation undertaken on Friday must end by the end of the day on Saturday. Around 450 employees work at the Asta Foods plant.

According to the CISSS release, the tests are being carried out in screening clinics in La Pocatiere and Riviere-du-Loup. Employees must make an appointment that works for them.

While awaiting test results, employees are being asked to self-isolate.

According to data published on the Bas-Saint-Laurent public health website, there are currently 148 active cases in the region, which is at the yellow level, or pre-alert, according to the Quebec government's colour-coded regional alert system.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2020.