Four COVID-19 cases confirmed at Gahcho Kué, six total

The Gahcho Kué diamond mine located 280 kilometers northeast of Yellowknife. (Supplied by DeBeers Canada.)
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Four more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in workers at the Gahcho Kué Mine, bringing the total number of workers with COVID-19 from the mine to six.

Six presumptive cases had been reported on Saturday.

Stanton Territorial Hospital confirmed two diagnoses on February 6, one on February 8, and one on February 9. 

COVID-19 in the NWT

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  • Two of the workers are NWT residents, and are isolating in Yellowknife. The territory’s total number of COVID-19 has risen to 38 as a result.
  • The two Gahcho Kue cases in the mine are the only two active cases in the territory as the case in Fort Liard has recovered.

The vaccine clinic for rotational workers at the mine was set to go ahead this week, but was postponed after an outbreak was declared at the mine on Saturday, and operations were shut down.

Only 130 staff who are essential for care and maintenance are still at the mine, down from over 330 who are normally working at the mine site.

NWT’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola said “it was a mutual decision” between the GNWT and the mine to shut down mine operations. 

Non-resident workers from the south have been sent back to their communities and NWT resident workers are isolating in Yellowknife along with high risk contacts.

Kandola said vaccines will be administered to those workers once they have completed their stints in isolation. She added additional “surveillance tools” will be added at the mine to detect COVID-19 outbreaks quicker.

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Two previously confirmed diagnoses at the Gahcho Kué Mine were reported on February 3.

The Gahcho Kué mine outbreak isn’t connected with last week’s COVID-19 outbreak at the company’s contractor-operated winter road worksite, where three people with COVID-19 infections have been identified. 

The Gahcho Kué diamond mine is located 40 kilometres from the winter road camp.

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