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Coronavirus

Four more cases as Gahcho Kué Covid-19 outbreak grows


The severity of a Covid-19 outbreak at the Gahcho Kué diamond mine grew on Friday with the confirmation of four more cases, bringing the total to 10.

Three of the newly diagnosed cases are NWT residents. The other is an out-of-territory worker. All of those affected are said by the territory to be isolating and doing well.

The latest cases come six days after work at the mine was suspended, though a small crew of essential workers remains at the site.

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More than 100 mine workers, most of them NWT residents, are isolating in Yellowknife. Others have been sent back to their home provinces.

“The new cases were identified by Gahcho Kué medical staff as they were testing and monitoring the entire site for Covid-19,” the territorial government said in an advisory.

“The company has re-tested all employees. Because of unknown transmission chains, the chief public health officer determined that every worker at the mine site is a contact to Covid-19.

“None of the individuals were infectious during travel to the mine. Medical staff continue to monitor and assess all worksite employees per standard Covid-19 safety protocols.”

The territorial government said there was still no identified risk to communities beyond the mine. Gahcho Kué, around 280 km northeast of Yellowknife, is operated by De Beers.

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“The company continues to collaborate with public health officials to mitigate transmission risk and Yellowknife Public Health will perform some testing and monitoring,” the territory said.

“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.”

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