Agnico Eagle evacuates 14 people after detecting employee with COVID-19
Infected individual was symptomless but had contact with 13 other employees
Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. says it has flown 14 employees from its Meliadine gold mine after a detecting a one positive case of COVID-19 over the holidays.
According to a news release from the company, the employee tested negative on Dec. 23, prior to arrival to the mine site, but then tested positive on Dec. 26.
“As part of Agnico Eagle’s enhanced COVID-19 protocol during the holiday period, all employees are re-tested after three days on site,” said Melissa Bradley, a spokesperson for the company, in the release.
The individual did not show symptoms, according to the release, and was isolated on site, following the company’s protocol. Contact tracing identified 13 other employees who may have been in contact with the employee, so the entire group was isolated on site until a special charter could be flown in to evacuate them.
That happened on Dec. 30, after a blizzard blew through, according to the release.
The Meliadine mine is located about 25 kilometres north of Rankin Inlet. The company says risk of transmission to the community is very low.
In an effort to isolate itself from the community, Agnico Eagle sent Nunavummiut employees home in March, with 75 per cent of their base salary.