6 COVID-19 cases confirmed at Gahcho Kué mine

·2 min read

Four previously announced presumptive cases of COVID-19 at the N.W.T.'s Gahcho Kué diamond mine have now been confirmed, as the mine contends with an outbreak.

On Saturday, public health officials announced the diagnoses as presumptive positives from rapid on-site testing. Wednesday, those diagnoses were confirmed positive in a news release from the territory's Chief Public Health Officer.

"Stanton Territorial Hospital confirmed two diagnoses on February 6, one on February 8, and one on February 9," the release reads. "Two previously confirmed diagnoses were announced on February 3."

Two of the people diagnosed are N.W.T. residents, according to the release, with the other four being out-of-territory workers.

The presumptive diagnoses led the chief public health officer to declare an outbreak at the mine earlier in the week, with the mine suspending all operations Feb. 6.

No risk to communities at this time, says CPHO

According to the release, because transmission chains are unknown, all workers at the mine site have been determined as contacts to COVID-19 at this time. Approximately 110 workers are safely isolating in Yellowknife as of Feb. 9.

Every person who is leaving the mine site is required to self-isolate for 14 days. The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer is working with the home provinces of out-of-territory workers to arrange for them to be safely repatriated.

"For those remaining on-site, routine monitoring and follow-up will continue. Outbreak response measures have been implemented, in addition to routine measures to protect employees," the release states.

The release also states that there is no identified risk to N.W.T. communities related to either the outbreak at the mine, or a separate outbreak at a Gahcho Kué winter road worksite declared Jan. 28.

The two outbreaks are not related to one another, according to the release.