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'Operations are running normal' after COVID outbreak at Alamos Gold mine

Timiskaming Health Unit documents five infections at Young-Davidson operation
Young Davidson Lower Mine conveyor
(Young-Davidson Mine, Alamos Gold photo)

Alamos Gold said it's business as usual at its Young-Davidson underground mine in Matachewan after a COVID-19 outbreak last week.

The Timiskaming Health Unit reported five cases among the mining company's workforce. It appears all of those infected live outside the health unit's coverage area since a new case hasn't been reported since early October. 

"Operations are running normal," said Rebecca Thompson, the company's vice-president of public affairs by email, when queried about the status of mine activities.

She provided no details on the cause of the outbreak.

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"Young-Davidson’s mine management is taking all the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of infection and prevent the transmission of COVID-19," she responded, which includes disinfectant fogging of the site. 

"This includes medical screening for all personnel, social distance measures to limit interactions, mandatory masks where social distancing is not possible, adherence to strict hygiene protocols, limiting site access to essential workers, and cancelling non-essential business travel. Since the emergence of COVID-19, Young-Davidson has been very proactive in implementing strict health and safety protocols, and following guidelines from the Public Health Unit.

"The mine management is working closely with the Timiskaming Health Unit, and is following guidelines from the public health Unit. This includes ensuring all contact tracing is complete, and testing is completed among employees who may have been in contact."