The Department of Health has sent its rapid response team to the Hope Bay mine as seven more cases of the virus are suspected.

All non-essential travel to the Hope Bay gold mine has been halted in light of seven suspected cases of Covid-19 having been reported.
photo courtesy of TMAC Resources

Although two cases were confirmed a week ago, the Department of Health stated that there’s no established link between those infected individuals and the new presumptive cases.

“These latest cases lead us to believe there is transmission of Covid-19 at the Hope Bay mine,” said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson. “The (rapid response) team, including two nurses and a logistician, is trained to trace, track and contain the virus to help reduce the risk of further transmission.”

In response, all non-essential travel to and from the mine, 125 km southwest of Cambridge Bay, including scheduled shift changes, is cancelled until further notice.

The presumptive positive cases, first reported to the Department of Health on Sept. 26, and all known contacts have been isolated. Contact tracing is ongoing.

“Although this is a serious situation, the risk to Nunavummiut is very low,” said Minister of Health George Hickes. “There are no Nunavut residents currently working at the Hope Bay Mine, and the site is isolated from all Nunavut communities. As we see cases on the rise in Southern Canada, I encourage all Nunavummiut to be careful, follow our public health advice and remain prepared for Covid-19.”

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Derek Neary

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,...