Presumptive COVID-19 case in Nunavut may be territory’s first infection

Presumptive COVID-19 case in Nunavut may be territory’s first infection

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut is reporting what may be its first case of COVID-19.

Dr. Michael Patterson, the territory’s chief public health officer, announced Thursday a presumptive infection of a worker at the Mary River Mine on Baffin Island, 176 kilometres southwest of Pond Inlet.

He said the person recently travelled to Nunavut for a shift at the open pit iron mine run by Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation. The worker was not showing symptoms, but was tested as part of routine screening. The person is doing well and is isolating from co-workers at the site.

The test is being sent to a laboratory for confirmation.

“We anticipate that these results will be available early next week,” Patterson told a news conference. “Until then, this is being classified as a probable case of COVID-19 for Nunavut.

“If the additional testing yields a positive result, this will be considered Nunavut’s first confirmed case.”

Nunavut reported what was thought to be the territory’s first case of COVID-19 in Pond Inlet in late April, but it later turned out to be a false positive.

The government said no Nunavut residents have worked at the mine since March and, as it is considered as essential service, its operation is to continue.

Patterson added that the workers are not required to isolate when they travel into Nunavut, as they fly directly to the mine for their work rotations.

He would not reveal where the worker involved in the probable case is from.

Health Minister George Hickes said employees at the mine do not have contact with community members.

And he said it’s best for mine workers who are Nunavut residents to stay home.

“There’s a lot of concern with having Nunavummiut go to the mine site then go back to the community. So to my knowledge, all of the operating mines in Nunavut are still paying their Nunavut employees to not go to work right now out of fear of contamination of the community.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2020

The Canadian Press

Nunavut

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central zone has 20 active cases of COVID-19

Province identified 143 new cases across Alberta on Wednesday

Province should set mask policy, says city councillor

Digital conference will raise issues of local concern

Education taxes, ambulance dispatch concern Red Deer city councillors at AUMA meeting

The digital convention will raise issues of local concern

High school’s student’s anti-racism video offers hope

Jose Jordan got dozens of high school students to participate

Trail closed near Red Deer water treatment plant until Nov. 1

Construction on intake in river continuing

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Former Wales star Rob Howley returns to rugby with Canadian national team

Former Wales star Rob Howley returns to rugby with Canadian national team

Back to work: NBA’s non-Disney clubs start team workouts

Back to work: NBA’s non-Disney clubs start team workouts

“We refused to play,” Henry blasts team as Impact lose 3-1 to Revolution

“We refused to play,” Henry blasts team as Impact lose 3-1 to Revolution

4-nation Rugby Championship to be played as 6 doubleheaders

4-nation Rugby Championship to be played as 6 doubleheaders

For NBA players, Taylor grand jury decision ‘not enough’

For NBA players, Taylor grand jury decision ‘not enough’

Pozuelo scores on penalty in 90th, Toronto FC beats NYC 1-0

Pozuelo scores on penalty in 90th, Toronto FC beats NYC 1-0

Blue Jays dump Yankees 14-1 to inch closer to securing post-season berth

Blue Jays dump Yankees 14-1 to inch closer to securing post-season berth

Reactions to the minority Liberal government’s speech from the throne

Reactions to the minority Liberal government’s speech from the throne

Most Read