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COVID-19 outbreak declared at Glencore Kidd mine site

Two employees have tested positive and the cases are connected
Kidd 1
Kidd Operations in Timmins (File photo)

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Glencore's Kidd Operations mine site in Timmins.

In a news release, Porcupine Health Unit medical officer of health Dr. Lianne Catton said the declaration is out of an abundance of caution and in line with Ministry of Health guidance.

“Two employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Our investigation has revealed that these cases are directly related," said Catton in the news release.

"The second employee was tested at a local assessment centre on Sept. 15. The employees are currently self-isolating at home."

On Thursday, the health unit announced a new case in an individual from Timmins from 40 to 59 years of age who was tested Sept. 15. 

The news release does not report a new confirmed case.

So far in the Porcupine Health Unit area there have been 78 confirmed cases. Of those, 65 are recovered and nine people have died. There are four known active cases.

While there have been cases at other mines in the region, this is the first declared outbreak at a mining operation.

According to the health unit, outbreaks are declared if two or more employees with a confirmed connection test positive for the virus.

"The leadership and staff at Glencore are taking all the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of infection and prevent the transmission of COVID-19," reads the news release.

"Public health is currently following up with employees identified as contacts."

The health unit is recommending other people continue to monitor for symptoms, to isolate immediately if any develop, and call the local assessment centre for testing.

“We understand that news could be upsetting for all involved, especially the employees of the mine and their family members,” said Catton.

“But let me assure the public that we are working with Glencore and we are all committed to ensure all necessary infection prevention and control measures are ongoing to contain the spread of COVID-19.”