Confirmed COVID-19 cases at Hope Bay Mine

September 19, 2020

News Release

Confirmed COVID-19 cases at Hope Bay Mine

IQALUIT, Nunavut (September 19, 2020) – Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer, today announced two positive cases of COVID-19 at the Hope Bay Mine 125 km southwest of Cambridge Bay. Both individuals were identified as having been exposed in their home jurisdiction. Although the exposure happened prior to travel, this was not identified until after they had arrived at the mine site.

“Both miners are asymptomatic and were immediately isolated and swabbed for the virus,” said Dr. Patterson. “The samples tested positive on the GeneXpert device in Rankin Inlet late on September 16 and were confirmed by the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg today.”

At this time, there is no evidence of transmission within the Hope Bay Mine site. Nunavut’s Public Health team is ready to provide support and respond if, and when necessary.

“Hope Bay Mine is an isolated location, and no Nunavut residents currently work there. The risk of COVID-19 spreading in our communities because of these cases remains very low,” said Minister of Health George Hickes. “We are closely monitoring the situation and we will keep Nunavummiut informed if anything changes.” The current public health measures, Nunavut’s Path and the Common Travel Areas with Churchill, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories, are not affected.

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.

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Media Contact:

Cate Macleod

Press Secretary to Premier Savikataaq

867-975-5059

cmacleod@gov.nu.ca

Chris Puglia

Acting Manager Communications

Department of Health

867-975-5949

cpuglia@gov.nu.ca