Nunavut-based workers at Baffinland Iron Mines’ Mary River project are being sent home with full pay as a precautionary measure in light of the highly contagious Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus, the company announced Saturday.

Nunavummiut employees will complete an isolation period and must obtain a negative PCR test result before being flown out, according to Baffinland.

“A return date to site of the company’s Nunavummiut workforce will be determined by close monitoring of the spread and severity of Covid-19 cases in Nunavut and across Canada and in consultation with infectious disease experts,” the company stated.

The decision was made “to best protect their health and safety and the health and safety of residents in their respective communities,” Baffinland wrote in a news release.

The company acknowledged six recent presumptive positive Covid-19 tests among its employees, all detected when the workers were tested upon arriving at the mine site. Those staff members are in isolation, as are their close contacts, according to Baffinland, which added that there’s been no transmission of the virus at the site.

Although operations will continue at full capacity, Mary River staffing levels will be reduced to essential roles, the company stated.

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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