COVID-19 case at Diavik mine confirmed

Twenty-seven people remain in isolation at the site.

This image is a computer generated representation of COVID-19 virions (SARS-CoV-2) under electron microscope. (Felipe Esquivel Reed/Wikimedia Commons).

One individual has been confirmed to have COVID-19 at the Diavik Diamond Mine.

Yesterday, the NWT government announced a presumptive case; it has since been confirmed by an Alberta lab.

“The individual remains self-isolated in a designated isolation area onsite and continues to show no symptoms,” says the territorial government in a news release.

It adds that 35 people were also in isolation for cautionary reasons. Eight have been allowed to leave isolation after further investigation.

“The chief public health officer has carefully assessed the situation and determined that there is no additional risk to remaining workers and all possible exposures have been effectively isolated,” reads the release.

CKLB confirmed the individual will remain at the mine for the duration of their isolation.

“At this time, it is much safer to monitor and treat onsite as needed,” says Mike Westwick, the government’s COVID-19 communications spokesperson.

He adds that medical experts at Diavik will communicate regularly with public health officials.

Chance of ‘reintroduction’ growing

The government says the chance of bringing COVID-19 back into the NWT is growing as other jurisdictions are seeing outbreaks in Canada.

It warns residents that “compliance will never be 100 per cent — and when the rules aren’t followed, the virus can spread very quickly.”

As the individual is an Alberta resident, the case will be counted towards the province’s total and not the NWT’s.

This means the NWT remains at five confirmed and recovered cases.

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis was a reporter with CKLB from January 2019 to March 2023. In his time with CKLB, he had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures.