Confirmed COVID-19 case at Gahcho Kué, testing being done on all workers

The Gahcho Kué diamond mine located 280 kilometers northeast of Yellowknife. (Supplied by DeBeers Canada.)
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One case of COVID-19 was identified in a contractor from Alberta at Gahcho Kué diamond mine on Saturday.

De Beers Group Senior Communications Officer Terry Kruger says there are also two close contacts, both non-NWT resident contract workers.

“All three are asymptomatic and have been placed into quarantine at the mine,” he adds.

Kruger says all employees are being tested and the gym and recreation facilities on site have been closed.

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“So far, all results have come back negative. Testing is anticipated to be complete Wednesday morning,” he adds.

Kruger says the mine is also doing advanced testing of all Yellowknife-based employees on Wednesday afternoon prior to a scheduled crew change on Friday.

About 85 percent of the mine’s workforce is fully immunized according to Kruger.

Other measures Gahcho Kué is following to prevent transmission include rapid testing prior to boarding crew change aircraft to the mine; and PCR testing of everyone upon arrival at the mine, on Days 4 and 8 on site following arrival, and prior to departure.

Kruger says production crews are working three week rotations on site and that mask use is mandatory at all times in all common areas and when physical distancing is not possible.

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