North

1 case of COVID-19 confirmed at Ekati Diamond Mine

The person is a non-resident worker who travelled directly to the mine from Alberta, said the N.W.T.'s chief public health officer.

Person is a non-resident worker who travelled directly to mine from Alberta

A COVID-19 case has been confirmed in a non-resident worker at Ekati Diamond Mine. (Dominion Diamond Corporation)

A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Ekati Diamond Mine. 

The person is a non-resident worker who travelled directly to the mine from Alberta, according to a Northwest Territories government news release Saturday.

The person "isolated appropriately onsite" and is "doing well," said Dr. Kami Kandola, the territory's chief public health officer, in the release.

An investigation found that there are no public exposure risks in the N.W.T. as a result of this case, said Kandola.

Public health has worked with medical staff at the site, and 29 contacts are now isolating to reduce the risk of further transmission, she said. 

Because the person is a non-resident, this case will not be included in the territory's case count. 

Dominion Diamond Mines, Ekati's parent company, closed Ekati in mid-March due to the pandemic and went into creditor protection shortly afterward. Last month, the company announced that 60 workers would be brought back to work at the mine in early December.

Workplace precautions work to reduce risk

The government says this case is an example of "workplace precautions working to reduce risk."

"While your business or facility may look a lot different than a mine site, the healthy habits like masking up, physical distancing of at least six feet, and limiting crowds are the same," said Kandola.

She says as the risk rises in Canada, now is a good time for businesses to reassess their exposure control plans. 

As people gather for the holidays, Kandola reminds the public to maintain physical distance, wear a mask in public, wash hands frequently, and keep get-togethers small and in large spaces.

She also encourages people to contact their local health centre and arrange for a COVID-19 test at the first sign of sickness.

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