Outbreak declared at Yukon gold mine after 3 test positive for COVID-19

There are three cases of COVID-19 at the Eagle Gold Mine, and another person who is from Yukon, but isn't in Yukon, has also tested positive, says public health.

Additional cases are possible as public health conducts contact tracing

Yukon Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks at a news conference on April 22, 2021. He declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at a mine site over the weekend. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at a mine in Yukon after three people tested positive for the virus, according to the territory's public health department. 

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's chief medical officer of health, confirmed a total of four new cases in a statement Saturday evening.

One is a Yukon resident who was infected and diagnosed outside the territory, "and will remain out of territory," said the statement, while the other three are at Victoria Gold Corporation's Eagle Gold Mine site.

The cases at the mine are isolating and recovering, and were at the mine during their infectious period, said public health. Two are Yukon residents, while a third is from another part of Canada and will not be counted in the active number of COVID-19 cases in the territory.

"Additional cases may be expected," said the statement, and contract tracing is underway to control and prevent further spread. 

John McConnell, president of Victoria Gold Corporation, said 17 people had been in contact with the three positive cases and they're now in isolation. 

"We have a dedicated wing of the bunk house for people that are self-isolating, they're not allowed to mix with anyone and they're delivered meals." 

All 17 close contacts have been tested for the virus, and McConnell said the mine was expecting to get the results back on Sunday.

This is the first time COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at the mine, said public health. 

Right now, people who arrive in Yukon and who can prove they're full vaccinated don't need to isolate, while those who are not fully vaccinated must isolate for 14 days. 

Earlier this week, Hanley said Yukon is "poised for further relaxation of restrictions in the future." 

At the time, there were no active cases of COVID-19 in the territory.


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