New presumptive case of Covid-19 at Ekati diamond mine

The operator of the NWT’s Ekati diamond mine says a worker returned a presumptive positive test for Covid-19 earlier this week – the mine’s second suspected case this month.

Arctic Canadian said the presumptive positive came during “day six testing” of workers. All staff arriving at the mine are tested for Covid-19 on arrival and on their sixth day after reaching the mine.

In an email to staff, Arctic Canadian said the individual had tested negative on arrival at Ekati and showed no symptoms, but returned a positive test on day six. That test awaits confirmation at Stanton Territorial Hospital.


In the meantime, the individual has been isolated on the mine’s quarantine wing. On Friday, a spokesperson for the mine said 21 people were currently in isolation at Ekati.

“The mine is continuing safe operations,” Arctic Canadian said in a statement.

“Close contact individuals have been identified and have also been moved to quarantine as a precaution. Arctic is working closely with the Chief Public Health Officer of the Northwest Territories and is carefully monitoring the situation.”

In an email, the mine told workers everyone at the site has no access to its gym, recreational facilities, and other common areas for the time being.

An earlier confirmed case of Covid-19 at Ekati was reported by the NWT government on May 21.