Hudbay confirms Snow Lake employee tested positive for COVID-19

A Hudbay employee at the company's Snow Lake operations has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement sent to The Reminder Oct. 21, the company confirmed that a case of the disease was found among its workforce among a resident of Snow Lake. Further identifying characteristics, including what department the person was in before testing positive, have not been released.

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“We can confirm there is a positive COVID-19 case involving a Hudbay employee who lives and works in Snow Lake. This individual is currently in self-isolation. Due to privacy considerations, we are not in a position to offer any additional information," reads the statement. The spokesperson confirmed that the company does not expect any change in operations due to the positive case.

"Our top priority remains the safety of employees and communities in Manitoba and our ongoing testing protocols remain in place. We are working closely with our industrial health nurse to monitor the situation and ensure health and safety protocols designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 are closely followed. This incident has no impact on production at our Snow Lake operations.”

There is currently one active case of COVID-19 reported in the Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon health district, the second to be reported and confirmed within the district since the outbreak began. The earlier case, reported in the Flin Flon area back in March, was also found in a Hudbay employee.

The company has been under fire in recent months after industry watchdog groups said a number of workers at Hudbay's Constancia mine project had tested positive for COVID-19 - a claim Hudbay has disputed.

Around 100 employees from 777 mine are currently working in Snow Lake following a skip cable accident at 777 that temporarily shut down operations at the mine pending review and repairs. No injuries were reported in the incident and some operations at the mine have restarted following the incident.

Hudbay has instituted special COVID-19 safety measures at its Manitoba operations, including screenings and temperature checks for all employees, limits on group sizes and the number of people allowed in the mine cage at any given time and hand sanitizer stations. The company recently added mandatory use of masks for employees while at work - it is unknown if this measure was brought into place before or as a result of the recent case.

"We have implemented, and regularly updated, a multi-layered COVID-19 protocol since March and we recently introduced a mandatory mask requirement for all Hudbay Manitoba properties. Masks are required when in communal settings, in vehicles with two or more occupants or when a two-metre distance cannot be maintained," reads the Hudbay statement. 

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