Atikokan’s first positive case of COVID-19 is related to an outbreak at the Lac Des Iles palladium mine, 90 km north of Thunder Bay, according to the NWHU
The employee is one of six who have tested positive, after contact with an infected employee. In a letter to staff, which was released on Facebook, the mine’s parents company, Impala Canada learned of a worker who entered the site between March 29 and April 4. The employee passed screening protocols, but tested positive on April 7. The five employees who worked in close proximity with the individual were sent into quarantine. The Atikokan individual was already in isolation before symptoms appeared, and has had no contact with anyone in the Northwestern Health Unit’s jurisdiction, according to the NWHU.
The mine has since suspended operations. Employees are isolating at home or in a Thunder Bay hotel. A scaled down crew remains at the site, to ensurethe safety and maintenance of the site.
The individual is the region’s tenth confirmed case of COVID-19, and the only active one at this time. It is also the first known to be related to close contact, as opposed to travel. A woman in her 90s has no known source of infection, according to the provincial database.
So far, the region has one male under the age of 20, a male and a female in their 20s, a woman in her 30s, one man in his 40s, a man in his 50s, both a male and a female in their 60s, including the Atikokan case, and a woman in her 90s. Four of the individuals are in Dryden, two in Red Lake, and one each for Fort Frances, Sioux Lookout, Rainy River and now Atikokan. Kenora and Emo are free of confirmed cases as of press time.