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1 positive COVID-19 case confirmed at Nunavut's Mary River Mine

Dr. Carolyn Pim said in a news release Wednesday that the territory was informed of a presumptive positive case on Monday at the mine, which is 176 kilometres southwest of Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

At least 1 contact is a person from Nunavut

One person has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Mary River Mine, according to a news release Wednesday. The mine is 176 kilometres away from Pond Inlet. (Submitted by Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation)

A positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation's Mary River Mine, says Nunavut's acting chief public health officer.

Dr. Carolyn Pim, Nunavut's acting chief public health officer, said in a news release Wednesday that the territory was informed of a presumptive positive case on Monday at the mine, which is 176 kilometres southwest of Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

"The individual tested negative before boarding the charter to the mine on August 5 but developed symptoms on Monday and was tested again at that time," Pim said.

The mine test was then sent to Iqaluit for confirmatory testing and came back positive on Tuesday, Pim said.

At least one of the person's contacts is from Nunavut, the news release says, as Nunavummiut have begun returning to work at the mine site over the last two weeks. Previously, Baffinland had sent its Nunavut-based staff home to avoid any chance of spreading COVID-19 in the territory. 

The release said all the contacts and the positive case are in isolation at the mine and there are no plans to evacuate the site.

There has been no contact with communities in Nunavut.

The release says all workers are tested upon arriving at the site, multiple times while on site, and before leaving. And, it says a negative result is needed before anyone returns to any community. However, in June, Nunavut's Health Department announced that people leaving the mine are no longer being asked to self-isolate.

"As part of the extensive controls in place on site, Baffinland has made vaccines mandatory for all workers on site as of August 1, which reduces the risk of acquiring or spreading COVID-19 and severe infection from the virus," the release reads.

Anyone who thinks they could have been exposed to COVID-19 is told to call the COVID-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, or notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days.

Nunavut had been free of COVID-19 for several weeks. An outbreak in Iqaluit, which swelled to 235 cases, was declared over in late July and some pandemic restrictions have been relaxed

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