One case of the UK COVID-19 variant has been reported at Diavik Diamond Mine.
Lab analysis confirmed the virus is the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom. This is the first reported case of the COVID-19 variant in the NWT. The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer says they think the worker was infected before arriving at the mine.
There is no exposure risk to NWT communities at this time, according to the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer.
The individual and the contacts are self-isolating a location onsite. The individual who has been diagnosed with the variant is isolating and doing well. They are not an NWT resident.
Throughout Canada, there are over 10,800 cases of the UK COVID-19 variant in Canada – with over 4,300 of those being reported in Alberta. There also several hundred cases of two other COVID-19 variants. Two cases of the variant were reported at Fort Chipewyan in March.
The UK COVID-19 variant is reportedly more infectious than the original version of the virus, meaning it can spread more easily.