Northern Health declares COVID-19 outbreak at Brucejack Mine

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Northern Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Pretivm Resources’ Brucejack Mine north of Stewart, where 22 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a Northern Health bulletin, 14 of 17 active cases are in isolation at the site. Both the health authority and Pretivm Resources have been monitoring a cluster of cases since early February and implementing measures to control transmission.

In response to the increase in positive tests and evidence of transmission among employees and contractors, Pretivm is stopping worker travel to the main camp until site staff testing is complete.

There are around 485 employees working at the site, and the bulletin states that those identified as close contacts are self-isolating at the site or in their home communities.

Northern Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control are communicating with the health authorities of affected employees. The outbreak declaration will remain in place for at least 28 days.

In a media release, Pretivm said that the mine will continue operations and “the company will closely monitor the situation.”

The company first announced Feb. 7 that there were pandemic cases at the mine site.

Those nine people, the company said then, were “in isolation, remain in good health and have exhibited limited symptoms.”

It then began contact tracing to determine the potential for additional exposures.

The company also said Feb. 7 it knew of more employees who were not at the mine site who also had contracted the virus.

Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News