There were 11 presumptive cases of COVID-19 at the Hope Bay mine in the Kitikmeot region between Sept. 27-29, Agnico Eagle Mines announced on Friday morning.

Contact tracing identified 92 people who had exposure to those presumed to have contracted the virus.

All of these workers were placed in isolation at the mine site, 125 km southwest of Cambridge Bay, until they could be sent south on special charter flights, in accordance with recommendations from Nunavut’s chief public health officer (CPHO), Agnico Eagle stated.

These individuals were originally tested prior to their arrival at the mine site site and all results were negative, the mining company stated.

Then three individuals tested positive within five days of their rotation at the mine, triggering a site-wide retest.

Nunavummiut employees have not yet returned to work at Hope Bay, so there are no territorial residents who have been in contact with the affected workers. A crew change planned for Sept. 30 was cancelled and the “no-contact” protocol between Agnico Eagle’s Nunavut mine sites and communities remains in effect.

“The risk of contamination for the surrounding communities and for other Nunavut mines remains very low,” Agnico Eagle stated.

Daily on-site testing for COVID-19 will continue until further notice, as recommended by the CPHO.

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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