Mary River Mine sends employees home after 6 workers test positive for COVID-19

The government of Nunavut announced four additional cases of COVID-19 on Dec. 26, all of which are in Iqaluit.

Iqaluit reports 4 new cases, bringing active cases to 23 across Nunavut

Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation said six workers tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived at the Mary River Mine, located 176 kilometres south of Pond Inlet. The results are considered presumptive and the mine said there has been no transmission detected between employees at this time, but all Nunavummiut staff will be sent home as a precaution. (Submitted by Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation)

The Mary River Mine will be sending all Nunavummiut workers home after six employees tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after arriving on site.

There is no reported transmission of COVID-19 between workers at the Baffin Island site, and all employees who tested positive are isolating, the Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation wrote in a release on Saturday.

Yet, because of the new cases, the mine's operator said it will be sending all on-site Nunavummiut workers home after they self-isolate for a certain period of time and receive a negative PCR test result. The employees will all receive full pay while at home, the release said. 

The company said the mine will continue operating, but with reduced staff.

The Mary River Mine is located 176 kilometres south of Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

The Nunavut government announced four new cases of COVID-19 in Iqaluit on Sunday. 

The territorial government also announced a total of 23 active cases of the illness — one in Sanirajak, six in Rankin Inlet, 12 in Iqaluit and four in Pangnirtung. 

On Dec. 24, when the territory had eight active cases, the Nunavut government announced a full lockdown for all communities. 

The lockdown limited both indoor and outdoor gatherings, closed public facilities and restricted restaurants to takeout only. 

All schools in Nunavut will remain closed until Jan. 10 or until advised by the chief public health officer, the territory said.