In response to COVID-19 concerns, Baffinland Iron Mines is temporarily telling its Nunavummiut employees not to report for work at the Mary River mine.

Nunavummiut who work at Baffinland’s Mary River mine are being sent home and being told not to report for their next shifts as the company responds to the threat from COVID-19.
Hark Nijjar Photography

Nunavummiut workers currently at the site will return to their home communities this week, according to a Baffinland news release. There company’s offices in Iqaluit, Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Iglulik, Pond Inlet and Sanirajak have also been closed.

There will be no loss of pay, seniority, or job security during this period, the company stated.

“This action will help eliminate the Baffinland site as a potential point of entry for COVID-19 into the Arctic,” the news release reads, adding that the situation will be reassessed in two weeks.

Baffinland reported that there are no known cases of COVID-19 at the mine site.

It also stated that it has emergency and crisis management plans in place that address infections. As well, passenger screening will begin Tuesday for all workers flying to Mary River — this will include checking for possible virus symptoms and a mandatory temperature check. The majority of Baffinland’s workforce travels to the mine from southern Canada.

 

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Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...