Alberta worker at Diavik mine tests positive for COVID-19

An Alberta worker at the Diavik Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories has tested positive for COVID-19, the territorial government says.

Person is still self-isolating, and is not showing symptoms, N.W.T. government says

An Alberta worker has been confirmed to have COVID-19, the N.W.T. government says. (Ben Nelms/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

An Alberta worker at the Diavik Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories has tested positive for COVID-19, the territorial government says.

Alberta Precision Laboratories validated the test result, which was presumed to be positive on Thursday

The individual is still self-isolating in a designated isolation area at the mine site. They are not showing symptoms, according to a press release from the office of the N.W.T.'s chief public health officer on Friday.

As a precaution, 35 people at the mine were put in isolation after the presumptive case on Thursday, however eight were subsequently released after further investigation.

The mine is able to test people for COVID-19 on-site. Diavik Diamond Mine is about 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife.

Diavik says it is keeping employees up to date on the situation, and that additional precautions are being taken to avoid any possible contact with those who are isolated.

Matthew Klar, media relations for Rio Tinto, which runs Diavik, said the company had no comment at this time.

No risk to other workers, gov't says

There is no additional risk to other workers, the office of the chief public health officer says.

On Thursday, the N.W.T. government said heightened precautions like the use of masks on shuttle buses and charter flights to N.W.T. mines meant the person's "contacts were minimized."

The positive case will be counted toward Alberta's COVID-19 tally, as the person is not from the N.W.T., the government says.

There have been five cases among residents in the Northwest Territories to date.The last confirmed case was on April 5. All cases have since recovered.

As of Friday morning, the N.W.T. government's COVID-19 website reported that there have been 3,227 COVID-19 tests done in the territory. Of those, 77 are awaiting results.

Nunavut announced three presumptive cases at its Mary River Mine near Pond Inlet this month — all of which were confirmed negative at an Ontario lab. All three workers were from outside of the territory, and Nunavut's chief public health officer said they may have had COVID-19 previously but had since recovered.


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