Reported possible COVID-19 exposures have been announced around Flin Flon.
In a letter sent out to parents of students at Ecole McIsaac School Nov. 24, the Northern Health Region stated that someone who later tested positive for COVID-19 was at the school Nov. 10 and 16 during a period when they may have been infectious. The person did not acquire COVID-19 at the school.
"This case did not acquire infection at the school and there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission at Ecole McIsaac School," reafs the NHR parent letter.
"Anyone with symptoms, even very mild symptoms, should present for testing. Ecole McIsaac School is working closely with public health officials and following their recommendations. Be assured that Public Health investigations to identify individuals who may have been exposed begin within 24 hours of a confirmed laboratory test."
The school will remain open for all students and staff, according to the letter, with in-person classes available for people choosing to come into class.
Families are advised to monitor children for COVID-19 symptoms - if kids develop fever, chills, cough, sore throat or hoarse voice, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea or loss of taste or smell, families are asked to immediately isolate and bring the child in for a COVID-19 test. Any two of the following symptoms may also be signs of COVID-19: runny nose, muscle aches, fatigue, pinkeye, skin rashes, nausea, loss of appetite and headaches.
According to company memos sent to employees and contractors that were obtained by The Reminder, two positive cases of COVID-19 were found in employees of the company’s Flin Flon operations, along with a case in Snow Lake at the Stall mill.
In Flin Flon, both workers are now self-isolating in the Flin Flon area and contact tracing operations are now underway. It is unclear where the workers may have acquired the disease, if the cases are related to existing cases at the Northern Lights Manor or the Personal Care Home or what, if any, possible spread has taken place.
“The health and safety of our workers and of the communities in which we operate is our top priority. We are working closely with local health authorities to trace potential contacts and we are taking all necessary precautions, including testing and screening of incoming workers from out-of-province,” reads a statement from Hudbay to The Reminder.
“We ask that all Hudbay employees/contractors continue to follow COVID-19 procedure and policy, which including maintaining two metre distancing, wearing respirators when distancing cannot be maintained, mandatory mask-wearing in all work taxis and shared vehicles, diligent hand washing and sanitizing of work areas on a daily basis. Temperature taking and pre-work health screening is mandatory for the start of every shift.”
In Snow Lake, the person who tested positive there was from another community and was staying at the company’s Outland camp. The company also stated that contact tracing relating to a previous case at Lalor mine had been resolved.
Hudbay said in a statement that the individual who tested positive is isolating “in another community” outside Snow Lake - the company would not confirm if the person is isolating in the Flin Flon area.
At its Snow Lake camp, Hudbay is planning to beef up existing safety measures.
“We are also working to introduce point-of-care testing at the Snow Lake camp. We have engaged a service provider who will begin rapid testing once we have access to the quick tests and necessary supplies, which is anticipated by mid-December,” reads a statement issued by a Hudbay spokesperson.
The Flin Flon Aboriginal Friendship Centre has shut down to the public after possible exposure to a positive COVID-19 case.
The centre released a statement Nov. 23, stating that while the centre will provide no-contact services as best as possible, the centre will be closed to the public.
"Our organization has been exposed to positive cases of COVID-19. We are working closely with public health to ensure all necessary precautions and procedures are adhered to," reads the Friendship Centre's statement.
"In the interest of public health and safety, we will be closing our facility to the public until Dec. 7, 2020."