Agnico Eagle reports new presumptive positive case of COVID-19 at Nunavut mine
“The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer concluded that the risk of contagion is deemed very low”
A worker at Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.’s Meliadine mine in Nunavut has presumptively tested positive for COVID-19, the company announced today.
On Monday, Sept. 28, the worker boarded a northbound flight at Montréal–Mirabel International Airport and was tested at the company’s testing lab in Val-d’Or, the company said in a news release.
Following the positive test result, the company says that employees on the flight were placed in isolation after arriving at the Meliadine mine near Rankin Inlet while contact tracing was conducted.
Fifteen people were identified as having contact with the person who presumptively tested positive for COVID-15.
The person who presumptively tested positive is being transported to southern Canada on a special flight, the company said, while the 15 people who had been in contact with this person are being transported south on a separate charter flight.
The company says that strict measures were followed on the flight north and bus transfer to the mine site, requiring workers to wear face masks and follow other hygiene protocols.
“Due to the robustness of Agnico Eagle’s COVID-19 preventive measures in place at the mine sites and during transportation, the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer concluded that the risk of contagion is deemed very low,” the company said. “Consequently, the remaining travellers from the Sept. 28 flight have been cleared to return to work.”
Agnico Eagle says that the risk of transmission to the nearby community of Rankin Inlet “is very low.” The company undertook measures in March to isolate the mine from the community by having its Nunavut workers stay home with 75 per cent of their salaries to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.