Three more people associated with the Gahcho Kué Covid-19 outbreak have tested positive for the disease while in isolation.
The three are all out-of-territory workers who had been employed at the NWT diamond mine. All are doing well, and all had been isolating for a week or longer as contacts of earlier cases.
Gahcho Kué has now recorded 18 cases in this outbreak – eight among NWT residents and 10 among out-of-territory workers.
More than 100 people are isolating in Yellowknife as a result, while operations at the mine have been suspended since February 6 barring the continued presence of a small crew maintaining essential services.
The territorial government this week told Cabin Radio dozens of workers had been sent to Yellowknife for isolation as “there was uncertainty about the reason transmission was occurring.”
By email, a spokesperson said: “Every worker – approximately 330 people when the outbreak was declared – was considered a close contact because the transmission chain was unknown, and it was determined that the best option was to reduce the number of workers at the site by repatriating them to their home provinces to safely isolate or to self isolate in Yellowknife.
“The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer and Gahcho Kué mine management worked with all provinces where workers were returning to help develop safe isolation plans.”
The mine is covering all isolation centre costs related to the outbreak, the GNWT said.
“Gahcho Kué medical staff continue to test and monitor the entire site for Covid-19. The company has retested all employees. Essential services team members at the mine have all tested negative,” the territorial government said in a statement.
“There is no identified risk to NWT communities related to the outbreak at the Gahcho Kué mine at this time.”