Covid-19 outbreak declared at Ekati, unrelated case found at Diavik

Last modified: May 31, 2021 at 8:28pm

The NWT’s chief public health officer has officially declared a Covid-19 outbreak at the Ekati diamond mine after a third case was confirmed.

The mine operator, Arctic Canadian, had previously told employees the territorial government would be declaring an outbreak at the mine. On Sunday, the operator told staff 96 people were isolating, asymptomatic, and feeling well. 

In a news release late on Monday afternoon, the territorial government said a third presumptive positive case announced at the mine on Saturday had been confirmed on Sunday. According to the release, the individual was a contact of another case of Covid-19, which had been announced on Friday. 


All three of the individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19 are out-of-territory workers. All those identified as contacts are isolating at a secure location at the mine.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr Kami Kandola’s office has advised the mine to delay crew changes to minimize the risk of workers leaving the mine with Covid-19. That policy will be reviewed in two days, Dr Kandola’s office said.

On Monday, the NWT government also announced a new, unrelated case of Covid-19 at the Diavik diamond mine, also in an out-of territory worker. 

The territorial government said there was no identified risk to NWT communities related to any of the positive cases. 


In Yellowknife, there are now no active cases remaining connected to the city’s NJ Macpherson School outbreak. The NWT government’s initial Monday evening advisory said one case remained active, but a representative subsequently confirmed that case is now confirmed to have recovered.