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Vacationing Vale employee tests positive for COVID-19

No risk to workforce at Sudbury operations, says company spokesperson
Vale Copper Cliff smelter
Vale's Copper Cliff smelter

A Vale employee returning from vacation to Sudbury has tested positive for COVID-19.

But a spokesperson for the nickel miner said there is no danger to the workforce.

"I can confirm that an employee based in Sudbury who has been away from the workplace since March 4 has tested positive for COVID-19," said Danica Pagnutti, Vale Canada's corporate and Indigenous affairs specialist for Ontario operations, in an email.

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The employee had been on an international vacation and went into self-isolation upon returning, as required by government and health authorities.

Pagnutti said there is no risk of transmission to any employees within the Sudbury operations.

"Vale is in contact with local health authorities and is providing all the necessary assistance to the employee."

The company is keeping the employee's name confidential out of respect for that worker's privacy, Pagnutti said.

"We wish our colleague the very best for a full recovery and remain in communication with the individual."

Pagnutti said Vale's Pandemic Plan remains focused on "protecting the health of our people and ensuring we continue to operate safely."

While production at Vale's Sudbury operations appear unimpacted by the global pandemic, the company decided in mid-March to put its Voisey's Bay's mining operation in Labrador on care and maintenance for four weeks as a precautionary measure to protect residents in nearby Indigenous communities.