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The Covid-19 outbreak at Hope Bay Mine is considered contained, according to Nunavut’s chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson.

The territorial government announced the Covid-19 outbreak at Hope Bay Mine has been resolved after 10 positive and six presumptive cases were discovered in recent weeks. Those cases will remain in isolation until they are cleared. In the meantime, remaining staff will be allowed to travel again after a 10 day shut-down of non-essential flights in and out of the mine to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
photo courtesy of TMAC Resources

To date there have been 10 confirmed cases, with another six presumptive cases awaiting further testing, Patterson said during the GN’s Covid-19 update from the legislative assembly on Oct. 8.

“We believe we’ve identified all of the high-risk contacts – the people that are at the greatest risk of developing Covid-19. They are in isolation,” said Patterson.

Following the identification of two cases at the mine last month, a rapid response team was dispatched to Hope Bay by the territorial government.

The team has been working to identify cases and ensure that any further spread is contained.

Now that the outbreak is considered resolved, staff who have not tested positive will be allowed to travel within the week.

“The rest of the staff are at very low risk, less than one per cent. So it’s OK for them to travel now,” said Patterson.

Travel to and from the mine, 125 km southwest of Cambridge Bay, has been halted since the outbreak was first discovered.

“Restricting travel for the past 10 days was instrumental in stopping the spread,” said Patterson.

He added that the risk to Nunavummiut has remained low throughout this outbreak.

The GN has been working with mine managers to try and limit a similar outbreak in the future.

“Management has already committed to revising its infection control measures… to minimize the chance of this happening again,” Patterson said.

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