Another COVID-19 outbreak declared at Site C, active clusters reported among unvaccinated

Northern Health has declared a second COVID-19 outbreak among contracted workers at Site C. “This follows lab-…

Northern Health has declared a second COVID-19 outbreak among contracted workers at Site C.

“This follows lab-confirmed cases and clusters of COVID-19 among employees across the site operations, and evidence of on-site transmission among workers,” said Northern Health in a statement on Wednesday.

The health authority says there have been 41 lab-confirmed cases and several active clusters of COVID-19 activity amongst primarily unvaccinated workers in association with the outbreak.

There are currently 32 active cases, and over 110 workers in isolation due to being in close contact with confirmed cases, according to Northern Health.

Medical health officers have determined there is no need for closure orders for the overall project or individual project worksites.

BC Hydro says around 1,800 have received their first vaccine dose at the onsite medical clinic, and around 1,450 have received their second dose. The numbers don’t include workers that received their shot outside of the project.

According to the health authority, the following infection control measures have been implemented in addition to measures outlined in the Industrial Camps Order:

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.

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

“The health and safety of our workers and the public remains our top priority,” said Chris O’Riley, President and CEO of BC Hydro. “We will continue to work closely with Northern Health and our contractors to implement these measures to help keep our workers and the surrounding communities safe.”

As of Wednesday, there are 1,642 at camp. Of the workforce in isolation, 39 workers are isolating at camp and 69 are isolating at home.

“The recent cases are a combination of community and workplace transmissions and are dispersed across multiple contractors, work fronts and geographic home locations,” said BC Hydro.

“The workers currently in isolation are a combination of close contacts identified through contact tracing and individuals reporting to our onsite medical clinic with respiratory symptoms.”

Northern Health announced the end of the first outbreak in June after making the declaration in April. All 56 cases associated with the outbreak have recovered.

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