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Two individuals at Baffinland’s Mary River Mine are presumed to have contracted Covid-19 despite exhibiting no symptoms, according to the Government of Nunavut on Wednesday.

There are two presumed cases of Covid-19 at Baffinland’s Mary River Mine, the GN announced on Wednesday.
photo courtesy Baffinland Iron Mines

The mine workers and their contacts on site have been placed in isolation while additional swabs have been taken and sent to a southern lab for testing.  Results are expected early next week.

“We are actively monitoring this situation, but no Nunavut residents have worked at Mary River Mine since March. The risk of spread of Covid-19 in our communities in relation to these presumptive cases remains very low,” said Minister of Health George Hickes.

Baffinland issued this statement: “Through the contact tracing on both employees, we can confirm that the transmission of the virus did not occur on site and is a result of a localized southern cluster. The two identified presumptive positive cases tested on the very low end of the infection signal and are very unlikely to have been contagious. Both employees remain asymptomatic along with their contacts. We are working closely with Chief Medical Officer, NPH, Public Health Agency of Canada, and provincial and territorial governments to coordinate our response.”

A presumed case of Covid at Mary River Mine earlier this month turned out to be negative when further testing was done. Likewise, a presumed case in Pond Inlet in late April also proved negative with further testing.

Anyone who has reason to believe they have been exposed to Covid-19 is advised to
call the Covid-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., or notify their
community health centre right away by phone, and immediately isolate at home for 14
days.

Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, cough or difficulty breathing. The best
protection from spreading or catching the disease is physical distancing, handwashing
for at least 20 seconds, coughing and sneezing into an elbow and staying home as
much as possible, the GN advises.

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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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