Impala Canada, the parent company of the Lac des Iles Mine, has confirmed that two individuals associated with the mine have tested positive for COVID-19.
“Both individuals have been off-site for a week, self-isolating and doing well,” the company released on its Facebook page. “We are staying in touch to offer our support.”
Accordingto the company, both individuals had limited exposure to the mining and milling workforce.
Impala is working with the Thunder Bay District health Unit to launch a Pandemic Response Operating Procedure. As part of that procedure, direct work crews and close contacts were immediately notified, tested and send off-site to isolate. Some tests are outstanding; those which have returned have all been negative.
The Lac des Iles Mine, located about 90 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, was the site of a significant outbreak in April. It was associated with 25 cases, including one death. The outbreak closed the mine for a month, eventually reopening with bolstered safety measures in place, in late May.
All staff at the facility are required to complete a digital symptom and COVID risk exposure questionnaire before arriving on site from their homes. While on site, they undergo daily symptom assessments. Work environments and routines at the mine have been modified to allow for six feet spacing whenever possible. The company has added additional handwashing stations, and have imposed protocols which include frequent hand washing or sanitizing, frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces and mask usage.