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Public health closes investigation into positive COVID-19 case at Diavik mine

An Alberta worker has returned home after testing positive for COVID-19 at the N.W.T.'s Diavik Diamond Mine. Public health also says its investigation into the case has closed.

Alberta worker who tested positive in July has returned home

An Alberta worker has returned home after testing positive for COVID-19 at the N.W.T.'s Diavik Diamond Mine. Public health also says its investigation into the case has closed. (Ben Nelms/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

The office of the N.W.T. chief public health officer says it has closed its investigation into a positive case of COVID-19 at the Diavik Diamond Mine, and determined there's no risk to communities in the territory.

A news release Tuesday says "concern regarding the risk of an outbreak" has been resolved. It was confirmed on July 31 that an Alberta worker at the mine had tested positive for COVID-19. While the worker showed no symptoms, about 30 people had been put in isolation as a result.

The statement Tuesday said contacts have now been released from isolation, and the infected worker from Alberta has returned home "following all public health protocols."

"Diavik's medical team has tested all contacts of the individual on days five, eight, and 11. All tests were negative with on-site testing and affirmed by Alberta Precision Labs," it said.

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

Many mine workers are on-site on rotation. The statement said with a shift change approaching, people should feel confident that there is no "additional risk" of residents contracting COVID-19.

"Because of rigorous controls, effective testing, and co-operation between Diavik and Public Health, we are confident in advising that there is no indication of any ongoing heightened risk as a result of this positive case."

The positive case was counted toward Alberta's COVID-19 tally, since the worker was not a resident of the N.W.T.

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.

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