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Another presumptive Covid case at Meliadine mine; 17 potential contacts flown home on charter plane

Another Agnico Eagle Mines employee is suspected to have contracted Covid-19 based on an Oct. 28 test. Confirmation test results are still pending.

The individual, who exhibited no symptoms, flew from Mirabel airport in Montreal to Rankin Inlet to be transported to the gold mine. Upon learning of the test result processed at the company's Val-d'Or lab, the worker was flown home on a "special flight" later that day.

A worker suspected of having Covid-19 and 17 possible contacts have been flown home from Agnico Eagle's Meliadine gold mine, 25 km north of Rankin Inlet,
photo courtesy of Agnico Eagle

Other workers who were aboard the same flight from Mirabel were immediately placed in isolation in their rooms upon arriving at the mine site, 25 km north of Rankin Inlet. Contract tracing determined that 17 people may have been in close proximity to the individual who is suspected to be infected with the virus.

Those 17 workers were sent home on a charter flight on Oct. 29.

"They have been instructed to follow the recommendations of their provincial health authorities. They will be re-tested prior to returning to site," Agnico Eagle stated in a new release issued on Friday morning.

 "We are working closely with Nunavut's Office of the Chief Public Health Officer and we are following their recommendations. Mandatory masks and hygiene protocols were followed by employees prior to boarding the flight, during the flight, as well as for the bus transfer to the mine site," the news release added.

No Nunavummiut employees have been at the mine site in several months to prevent the virus from spreading to the communities.