Nunavut confirms COVID-19 case at Baffinland’s Mary River mine
“The individual was not exposed to the virus in Nunavut”
A presumptive case of COVID-19 at Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s Mary River iron mine has been confirmed as positive.
Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, confirmed the positive COVID-19 test result in a news release on Monday afternoon, adding that “the individual was not exposed to the virus in Nunavut and the case will count as a positive in the individual’s home jurisdiction.”
“The individual is currently in isolation and has not developed symptoms,” Patterson said. “The results were confirmed by the Hamilton Regional Laboratory today.”
The confirmation comes four days after Baffinland first reported the presumptive positive case of COVID-19 at its Mary River mine site.
There is no evidence of transmission at the mine, about 176 kilometres southwest of the community of Pond Inlet at this time, the GN’s Sept. 21 release said.
Nunavut’s public health team is ready to provide support and respond if, and when, it becomes necessary, the GN said.
“There are no Nunavut residents currently working at the Mary River mine, and the risk of COVID-19 spreading in our communities due to this positive case is very low,” said George Hickes, Nunavut’s health minister, in the release.
In mid-March, Baffinland sent its Nunavut-based workers home.
“As always, we ask Nunavummiut to please remain vigilant in regular hand washing, maintaining physical distancing measures and staying home if you feel unwell,” said Hickes.
Nunavut’s current public health measures remain unaffected, the GN said.
Two mine workers at TMAC Resources Inc.’s Hope Bay gold mine also tested positive for COVID-19, the GN said on Sept. 19.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough or difficulty breathing. The best protection from spreading or catching the disease is physical distancing, hand washing for at least 20 seconds, coughing and sneezing into an elbow, and staying home as much as possible, the GN said.