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Worker at Meliadine flown south with mild Covid-19 symptoms, tested positive

A Meliadine gold mine worker developed mild Covid-19 symptoms and was confirmed to have tested positive on Jan. 13, according to Agnico Eagle.

There's no indication that a Meliadine gold mine employee has transferred the Covid virus to any co-workers as everyone on site was retested on Jan. 9, Agnico Eagle stated.
Cody Punter/NNSL photo

The individual was isolated at the mine site as of Jan. 8 when the symptoms initially arose, despite multiple tests for the virus coming back negative over the few weeks prior. A special flight south was arranged later that day.

A tracing procedure identified 11 other Meliadine employees who may have been in contact with the infected person. Although the potential contacts tested negative, they too were placed in isolation and also flown south on Jan. 8.

Agnico Eagle stated in a Friday news release that all Meliadine workers were retested on Jan. 9 as a precautionary measure. All results came back negative for Covid.

"Consequently, there is no evidence that the employee could have been contagious since the employee was most likely in the incubation period and since all preventive measures were respected during transportation and on site," Agnico Eagle stated. "Although contamination risk is deemed low, common areas (gym, smoke shacks and recreational room) have been closed for extensive cleaning and disinfection. We are working closely with Nunavut’s Office of the Chief Public Health Officer and we are following their recommendations."

The company added that the risk to residents of Rankin Inlet, 25 km to the south, is "very low" as Nunavummiut workers have not been on site since March.

About the Author: Derek Neary

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