Investigation completed at Diavik; no risk of COVID-19 outbreak

An aerial shot of the Diavik mine, whose part-owners Dominion have been struggling financially during the pandemic. (Supplied by DDMI.)
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Following an investigation of the most recent confirmed COVID-19 infection of a worker at Diavik Diamond Mine, the risk of an outbreak has been deemed resolved.

Diavik’s medical team tested all contacts of the individual on days six and 10. All tests were negative with onsite testing and affirmed by Alberta Precision Labs. Contacts have been released from isolation as of 7 p.m. on September 21st.

Diavik say they are working with public health on a transport plan to get the individual who tested positive home safely.

No medical care was required in this case and the individual did not interact with other NWT communities.

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Dr. Kami Kandola, Chief Public Health Officer of the NWT notes that because of rigorous controls, effective testing, and cooperation between Diavik and Public Health, they are confident in advising that there is no indication of any ongoing heightened risk as a result of this positive case.

Anyone returning to the community after rotation should feel confident that there is no reason to believe your community is at any additional risk because of it. The same goes for those returning to work for rotation according to Kandola.

“If you were onsite during the incident, know that the controls worked to reduce risk and protect you while you were.”

Kandola states that public health continues to engage with remote camp operators to share best practices from these recent cases to help others cope with cases when they arrive.

Under Public Health Agency of Canada reporting standards, as the person lives in Ontario they will be tallied in Ontario’s totals rather than the NWT’s. As a result, the NWT’s confirmed cases will remain at five as can be seen on the GNWT’s website.

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