A new case of COVID-19 has been reported in NWT. A worker at the Diavik diamond mine – about 300 kilometers northeast of Yellowknife – has turned out to be the territory’s first case of a variant of concern. The case has been confirmed as the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom.
Ever since that first case was reported on March 29 there were no new cases of this COVID-19 variant.
The infected miner and 35 others who were close contacts are still self-isolating at the mine site and the authorities report that the person infected is currently “doing well”.
According to the local news release, Diavik Diamond Mines will test all of its workers, and “continue to work with Public Health officials to mitigate transmission risk.”
The infected worker is not an NWT resident, so the case wasn’t reported in the territory’s COVID-19 statistics.
Two more mines faced similar outbreaks earlier this year. the Gahcho Kue diamond mine — about 280 kilometers northeast of Yellowknife and similarly remote — had 20 COVID-19 cases reported while the Hope Bay gold mine also had a similar outbreak.
Diavik Diamond Mines is a joint venture between the Rio Tinto Group and Dominion Diamond Corporation.