THUNDER BAY – Five employees at Lac des Iles Mine have been sent home after a sixth employee tested positive for COVID-19.
Tim Hill, chief executive officer at Impala Canada, which owns and operates the Northern Ontario mine, said in a letter to employees obtained by tbnewswatch.com, that the employee was on site from March 29 to April 4.
“Upon entering and exiting the site the employee passed all screening protocols and, while on-site, did not notify the health centre of any symptoms. Last evening, we notified a crew of five people who worked together with the individual and asked them to immediately go into self-isolation. These crew members are no longer on site.”
Hill went on to say they've been working with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit to begin exhaustive contact tracing in an attempt to figure out who they may have come in contact with and make those people aware of the situation. The employee with COVID-19 is in self-quarantine at home.
The mine is asking all other employees on site to be extra-vigilant in self-monitoring and strongly recommend they complete the Ontario health self-assessment, adding the mine is being thoroughly sanitized by an expanded cleaning crew.
The mine will remain open and active.
“As we do so, we all need to remember that nothing is more important than our personal health and safety protocols and must report any symptoms to the health centre. It's our collective duty,” Hill wrote.
“This includes our 'no-nonsense' approach to physical distancing, where people will be sent home if they do not comply.”
He reminded staff to stay home if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, extending that to include workers who have household members who are feeling unwell.
“And if you are simply unable or do not feel comfortable tarveling to site during this time, please stay home. Your job is protected, your health and medical benefits will be maintained, and financial assistance is available through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.”
Lac des Iles Mine, which harvests palladium from the ground, is located 85 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.