No risk to public identified.
YELLOWKNIFE February 6, 2021 – Gahcho Kué Mine medical staff have identified six new individuals with a presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19.
This brings the number of individuals with confirmed or presumptive infections at the mine to eight.
All active and presumptive cases are safely self-isolating at a secure location onsite and are doing well. The territory’s Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) declared an outbreak at the mine on February 3.
These cases are unrelated to the COVID-19 outbreak declared January 29 at the Gahcho Kué contractor-operated winter road worksite.
The CPHO will continue to advise the public as new information becomes available.
Context for Outbreak Declaration
The NWT defines an outbreak in a closed facility -- which includes remote camps -- as one or more confirmed or probable case(s) of COVID-19 where infection is acquired within the facility.
The new presumptive cases were identified by Gahcho Kué medical staff as they were testing the entire site for COVID-19. The results are being confirmed now at Stanton Territorial Hospital.
None of the presumptive or confirmed cases were infectious during travel to the mine.
Medical staff are continuing to monitor and assess all worksite employees per standard COVID safety protocols.
Public Health officials are working with the company to ensure the individuals with presumptive cases of COVID-19 and contacts continue to safely isolate.
The company has tested all employees at the mine site, and continues to work with Public Health officials to mitigate transmission risk.
Routine monitoring and follow-up will continue with all presumptive cases and contacts.
These cases are not associated with last week’s COVID outbreak at the company’s contractor-operated winter road worksite, where three positive infections have been identified. The Gahcho Kué diamond mine is located 40 km from the company’s winter road camp. Crews do not travel between the two sites.
There is no identified risk to NWT communities related to the new presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Gahcho Kué mine at this time.
Monitoring and investigation will continue per Public Health communicable disease protocols to mitigate any transmission risk.
All commentary is to be attributed to Dr. Kami Kandola, Chief Public Health Officer for the Northwest Territories.