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7 Covid cases in outbreak at Nunavut mine

A rapid response team has been dispatched to Hope Bay Mine in Nunavut after seven new presumptive cases of Covid-19 were reported.

TMAC Resources, operators of the mine, contacted the Department of Health on Sept. 26 about an employee who had developed symptoms.

In response, all non-essential travel to and from the mine, including scheduled shift changes, is cancelled until further notice. The Department of Health worked with medical practitioners at the mine and dispatched the rapid response team when the new presumptive cases appeared.

“The team, including two nurses and a logistician, is trained to trace, track and contain the virus to help reduce the risk of further transmission,” said Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Michael Patterson.

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The presumptive positive cases and all known contacts have been isolated. Contact tracing is on-going.

“Although this is a serious situation, the risk to Nunavummiut is very low,” said Minister of Health George Hickes. “There are no Nunavut residents currently working at the Hope Bay Mine, and the site is isolated from all Nunavut communities.”

This situation does not impact the current public health measures, Nunavut’s Path or the Common Travel Areas with Churchill, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.

While the territories as a whole have no current Covid-19 cases, mines have seen small fluctuations recently.

The Diavik mine in the Northwest territories have seen two cases in recent weeks, while Nunavut had a presumptive case at the Baffinland Iron Mine in addition to the seven at the Hope Bay Mine.

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