Two presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada’s Arctic test negative

The two presumptive cases of COVID-19 at Nunavut’s Mary River Mine that were announced on July 15 have tested negative. There’s been a total of three presumptive cases at the mine that have ultimately been deemed negative. (Baffinland)
The two presumptive cases of COVID-19 at Nunavut’s Mary River Mine have tested negative, according to the territory’s chief public health officer.

The cases were announced on July 15. Officials said the swabs were sent to a lab in the South for confirmation.

Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) Dr. Michael Patterson said at the time that the individuals were asymptomatic. He said the two people, and their contacts, were immediately placed in self-isolation.

A news release Wednesday confirmed the negative results.

“The office of the CPHO is working with the mine to ensure the test cases and their contacts complete an appropriate isolation period as a precautionary measure,” Patterson said in the statement.

“At this point, neither the test cases nor the contacts have developed symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 and there is no evidence of transmission at the mine site.”Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut's Chief Public Health Officer

The Mary River Mine is located about 176 kilometres southwest of Pond Inlet. This is the second time a presumptive case was announced at the mine this month.

Baffinland Iron Mines — which runs Mary River — had said the possible transmission of the virus didn’t occur on site, and was the “result of a localized southern cluster.”

A presumptive case of COVID-19 was reported there on July 2. The territory said on July 10 that the test came back negative after it sent the test to its accredited lab in Ontario.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Some hotels in northwestern Canada still willing to book U.S. travellers, despite restrictions, CBC News

Finland: Russian tourists eager to book holidays in Finland despite border closure, Yle News

Greenland: Greenland extends COVID-19 entry requirements until July 20, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Iceland revises COVID-19 border screening rules for citizens, residents, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norwegian Arctic wilderness tourism hit particularly hard by coronavirus, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: The city that builds Russia’s nuclear submarines now has more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden’s top epidemiologist admits he got COVID-19 strategy wrong, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska Highway travellers might be in for rough ride this summer, CBC News

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