A positive case of COVID-19 has been detected at the Mary River iron mine and at least one Nunavummiuq worker has been identified as a direct contact in relation to the infected individual.

The person who tested positive and all related contacts are in isolation at the mine site.

A negative test is required before returning to any community, according to Nunavut’s acting chief public health officer, Dr. Carolyn Pim.

Nunavut workers at Mary River, 175 km southwest of Pond Inlet, just returned to the mine over the past two weeks after an absence of 16 months due to COVID-19.

The individual infected with the virus tested negative before boarding a charter flight to Mary River on Aug. 5 but developed symptoms of the virus on Aug. 9 and was tested again. A positive result came back on Aug. 10 from Iqaluit, where confirmatory testing was done.

Baffinland made vaccines a requirement for all mine staff as of Aug. 1, “which reduces the risk of acquiring or spreading COVID-19 and severe infection from the virus,” the Department of Health stated.

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