Third round of testing identifies no new COVID-19 cases at Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask project

Manitoba Hydro said Nov. 27 that results from a third round of COVID-19 testing of workers at the Keeyask generating station work site near Split Lake and Gillam show no new cases of the virus.

The latest round of testing saw tests administered to 617 employees Nov. 24-26 and all came back negative.

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In two earlier rounds of testing, a total of 39 COVID-19 cases were confirmed but all those employees have now recovered. From Oct. 20 to Nov. 27, 142 contacts of known cases were identified at the site and 129 of them completed their required self-isolation period. One employee is still self-isolating and 12 of the contacts identified later tested positive for COVID-19.

All new workers must self-isolate for 14 days and test negative for COVID-19 before being allowed to travel to the site.

“We are happy to see no new cases,” said Keeyask project director Dave Bowen in a Nov. 27 press release. “It’s a reflection of a true team effort. We also recognize the chance of more COVID-19 cases at site remains given the current state of the pandemic across the province. We will continue to take all reasonable steps to allow the project to proceed while protecting the health and safety of Keeyask workers, their families and their communities. Our response plan will continue to adapt as the state of the pandemic changes and will continue to be informed by the latest public health guidance.”

Hydro says it is keeping Keeyask partners Tataskweyak Cree Nation, York Factory First Nation, Fox Lake Cree Nation and War Lake First Nation up to date on COVID-19 status and measures at the site through daily briefings and weekly pandemic meetings.

Current measures in place and the projects pandemic response plan can be seen at https://www.hydro.mb.ca/covid19/keeyask/.

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