Second Covid-19 presumptive positive at Diavik mine

Last modified: September 9, 2020 at 9:35am

A second person has received an initial positive test for Covid-19 at the NWT’s Diavik diamond mine, the territorial government said on Wednesday morning.

The case is being investigated. It is a presumptive positive, meaning the test awaits confirmation from a public health laboratory.

The individual, who isn’t being identified, is self-isolating at Diavik’s designated isolation area.


“Our focus is keeping our employees and communities safe,” said a spokesperson for the mine by email.

“We have extensive measures in place to protect people and continue to be guided by the Northwest Territories government and advice from international health organizations on best practice.”

Diavik has had its own testing in place at the mine since May, with around 9,000 tests conducted to date.

An earlier case at the mine was confirmed at the end of July. However, the NWT government said that case was part of Alberta’s Covid-19 tally, not the territory’s, as it involved a person brought to Diavik on a direct charter flight from Alberta.

Similarly, the territory says this apparent second case will be considered an Ontario case – if confirmed – under federal guidelines related to place of residence.


“Testing upon entry resulted in a presumptive positive Covid-19 test for an Ontario resident working at Diavik diamond mine,” read Wednesday’s statement announcing the likely second case.

“The charter carrying the presumptive case originated in the south and went directly to the mine site.

“Medical staff at the mine are working closely with NWT public health officials to guide further actions, including validating the test at Alberta Precision Laboratories. Contacts at the mine site are isolated in designated areas with no additional risk identified for the Northwest Territories.”

The NWT has so far recorded five Covid-19 cases affecting its residents, though none since April.