Nunavut's Meliadine gold mine confirms positive COVID-19 case of employee

·1 min read

A Nunavut mine says a worker with a presumptive case of COVID-19 was confirmed positive over the weekend.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. says a worker at its Meliadine gold mine in Nunavut, about 25 kilometres north of Rankin Inlet, was tested on Wednesday before flying to the mine site from Quebec, in a news release issued on Monday.

The initial test result came back positive, though the person had shown no symptoms. The company says that worker was flown out from the mine site later on Wednesday.

The presumptive case was confirmed positive by follow-up testing in an accredited laboratory in Quebec on Sunday, the company said in the release.

Other workers on last Wednesday's flight to Meliadine were placed in "strict isolation" as soon as they arrived at the mine, the release says.

Contact tracing identified 17 people who may have been in contact with the person who tested positive, and those people were flown out on a special charter flight on Thursday. Those workers have been told to follow recommendations from their provincial health authority, and will be tested before returning to the mine site, Agnico Eagle says.

The company says the risk of transmission to the nearby community of Rankin Inlet is considered "very low."

Last week, two other workers at Meliadine were confirmed positive for COVID-19. Those workers were also flown out and told to follow the recommendations of their provincial health authority.