Meadowbank mine site sees 2nd COVID-19 case in a month

Agnico Eagle says it’s not related to August case at site, or the one in Rankin Inlet

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. says a second worker has tested positive for COVID-19 at its Meadowbank mine site, but the two cases are not related. (Photo courtesy of Agnico Eagle)

By Nunatsiaq News

An employee at Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank mine site near Baker Lake has tested positive for COVID-19.

The company released a bulletin about the discovery on Wednesday evening. 

This is the second case to surface at the mine site in recent weeks.

The most recent case was discovered after a worker tested negative before arriving at Meadowbank Aug. 26, but a subsequent test on Sept. 1 revealed a presumptive positive case. The positive result was confirmed by a lab Sept. 7.

“The individual was immediately placed in isolation until their evacuation from site on Sept. 3,” states the bulletin. 

The company did contact tracing with help from Nunavut’s chief public health officer, which indicates there is no connection between this case and a previous case at Meadowbank. As well, there is no connection between this case and one found in Rankin Inlet Sept. 3, states the release.

The infected worker was in contact with 11 others at Meadowbank. Nine of those who were still at the mine site were tested, and those results came back negative. They isolated at the mine site until flying south on a charter flight Sept. 3.

“The two other contacts were back in their home province,” states the release. 

Agnico Eagle says all employees at the site were tested on Sept. 2, and retested Sept. 6. All of those results have come back negative. 

The company has also shut all of the common areas at the site, such as the gym, smoke shacks and recreational room, for cleaning and disinfection.

The no-contact protocol between Nunavut’s mine sites and communities is still in effect, and the company says risk of spread to communities remains “very low.”

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