Northern Health has advised CGL that anyone not identified as a close contact will not be contacted, as the risk of infection is very low. (Lakes District News file photo)

Burns Lake’s Mile 7 camp pipeline worker tested Covid positive

Residents at 7 Mile Lodge continue to follow Covid safety protocols

A worker with Coastal Gas Link’s (CGL) pipeline project who was staying at 7 Mile Lodge, north of Tchesinkut Lake, has been tested positive for Covid-19 while off-site and away at his home in B.C.

In an email response to Lakes District News, CGL’s spokesperson Suzanne Wilton confirmed that the company had been notified late last Friday, on Sept. 4, of a confirmed positive case of Covid-19 within the workforce.

“The worker tested positive while off-site and at home in northern B.C. The workforce was also notified, as well as nearby communities about the confirmed case,” said Wilton.

She also informed that since the individual had previously stayed at the lodge before he went back to his home, the company had decided to implement additional Covid-safety protocols for the residents of the 7 Mile Lodge.

“Out of an abundance of caution, residents at 7 Mile Lodge have been notified and per the protocols in place, additional measures have been taken. Our first priority is the health and safety of our workforce, their families, and Indigenous and local communities,” she said.

When Northern Health (NH) was contacted for information on the case, spokesperson Eryn Collins said that they won’t be able to give any details unless there was a public health reason to do so “such as a potential public exposure or an outbreak.”

Collins however said, “What I can share is to reassure people that when there is a confirmed case anywhere in the north, public health is notified so they can do the required contact tracing. Anyone who is identified as a close contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case, regardless of the setting (workplace, or otherwise) will be notified that they have potentially been exposed and be supported in the appropriate measures they need to take.”

Wilton said that the company’s medical provider International SOS was working with NH and the company’s various contractors to assist and support NH in their contact tracing measures.

“Northern Health will identify and contact directly anyone who needs to be isolated, quarantined or tested and provide further instructions. Northern Health has advised Coastal GasLink that anyone not identified as a close contact will not be contacted, as the risk of infection is very low,” she confirmed.

Wilton also said that the measures that the company and its contractors take to protect workers and the community from Covid-19 exposure were what helped them initiate early and preventative action to reduce the spread of the virus.

“We continue to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidelines and have extensive infection prevention and containment measures in place to help keep people working on this project, along with their families and nearby Indigenous and local communities healthy and safe,” she said.

Irrespective of where the cases are, NH is urging people to practice the public health guidance and advice for preventing spread of the virus. Anyone experiencing potential Covid-19 symptoms need to self-isolate, and contact their primary care provider or the NH Covid-19 Online Clinic & Info Line (1-844-645-7811).

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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