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COVID-19 outbreak at New Gold in Emo

Three employees test positive, others awaiting results at New Gold mine in Emo, Northwestern Health Unit reports.
New Gold Rainy River project
Three workers have tested positive at the New Gold Rainy River mine near Emo, Ontario.

EMO, Ont. – The Northwestern Health Unit has declared a workplace COVID-19 outbreak at the New Gold Rainy River mine near Emo.

Three employees have so far tested positive, the NWHU reported in a statement Tuesday afternoon, while several others are awaiting test results.

NWHU medical officer of health Dr. Kit Young Hoon did not offer a specific numbers of workers tested or in isolation at a Tuesday press conference, but said it remained safe for some to continue working, and an investigation was ongoing.

“At this point there are a number of cases we’re following up on [at] the New Gold mine,” she said. “There’s evidence there could be spread happening within that facility."

Employees without symptoms who have not been contacted by the health unit to advise of exposure can continue working, the health unit advised Tuesday.

Any staff who develop symptoms should immediately self-isolate and get tested at an assessment centre, not at the work site, the NWHU said.

“If the test result comes back as negative, the staff person can return to work when symptoms have improved. Those with a positive test will be contacted directly by NWHU with further instruction.”

A workplace outbreak is defined as two or more cases in the setting who likely became infected at the workplace, the health unit said.

The agency reiterated warnings to residents of the Emo area, where there are three active COVID-19 outbreaks, of increased risk of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

"The numbers indicate that risk is extremely high in the Emo area, and can effect neighbouring communities," said NWHU medical officer of health Dr. Kit Young Hoon

There were 14 active cases in the NWHU’s Emo health hub Tuesday.