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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – Northern Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak among contracted workers at Site C.

Northern Health says the declaration made Thursday follows evidence of COVID-19 transmission among employees working primarily on civil works and excavation for the project.

There have been 34 lab-confirmed cases identified among five clusters of COVID-19 activity, and a total of 13 cases remain active.

The two most recent and currently active clusters are among Peace River Hydro Partners (PRHP) employees and include a total of seven active cases. The outbreak is among PRHA workers in the contractor’s office complex and on the dam core excavation.

In a statement, BC Hydro notes the increase in cases on site over the past several weeks, with more than 40 cases reported since the beginning of March.

Northern Health says medical health officers have determined there is no need for closure orders for the overall project or individual project worksites.

“Employees are being screened, and contact tracing is continuing. Those identified as cases and close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate, either at their worksite accommodations or in their home communities. Northern Health is working with the BC Centre for Disease Control to ensure communication with the health authorities or jurisdictions of affected employees’ home communities outside of BC,” says Northern Health.

There are currently 100 workers isolating at home or on site.

NH Public Health has been working closely with BC Hydro, the Site C project and its contractors, and WorksafeBC to manage small clusters of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

The outbreak declaration puts in place enhanced control measures where there has been evidence of ongoing transmission of illness, including, but not limited to:

The outbreak declaration will be in place for at least 28 days.

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