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Three new Covid-19 cases at Gahcho Kué Mine: CPHO

Gahcho Kue Aerial_September 2016
"The last person diagnosed with Covid-19 during their employment at Gahcho Kué during this outbreak developed symptoms on Feb. 23," according to the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer. photo courtesy of De Beers

Public health officials confirmed three new Covid-19 cases related to the Gahcho Kué Mine outbreak Friday.

All of them are were confirmed in out-of-territory workers, said chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola.

They were previously identified as contacts of earlier cases and have been in quarantine for a week or longer. All are feeling well, Kandola said.

There is no risk to NWT communities from the cases.

The latest diagnoses bring to 18 the total number of confirmed cases in the outbreak at the mine, which Kandola declared on Feb. 3

Ten of the individuals are out-of-territory workers and eight are NWT residents.

The new diagnoses were confirmed by Gahcho Kué medical staff in individuals who are in quarantine.

Medical staff continue to test and monitor the entire site for Covid-19. The company has re-tested all employees. Essential service staff at the mine have all tested negative.

Kandola has determined that every worker at the mine must be considered a contact.

None of the individuals were infectious during their initial travel to the mine.

As of Thursday, 75 NWT workers from the mine are isolating in Yellowknife. Thirty out-of-territory workers are also safely isolating in the city. About 95 out-of-territory workers have been repatriated to their home provinces.

A team of essential workers remain on-site for monitoring and deep cleaning site has begun. The company plans to bring an industrial hygiene crew to the mine to undertake further sanitization before resuming operations.

Gahcho Kué temporarily suspended operations on Feb. 6 amid the spread of Covid-19 cases at the mine.