Two Conoco employees in Alaska’s Arctic test positive for COVID-19

ConocoPhillips’ Alpine facility on the North Slope. (Elizabeth Harball/Alaska Public Media)
Two people at a major North Slope oil field have tested positive for COVID-19, ConocoPhillips confirmed Sunday.

The two workers were flown to Anchorage from the Alpine oil field near Nuiqsut, said Natalie Lowman, spokeswoman for ConocoPhillips Alaska.

Lowman said all employees who were in contact with the workers who tested positive have either been moved to Anchorage or are being quarantined at a separate area at the Alpine camp.

Lowman said she did not have information about how many test results are still pending.

Lowman also couldn’t provide information about whether the workers were Alaska residents and whether they showed COVID-19 symptoms prior to being tested.

Employees arrive at the Alpine oil field by plane, but board at a separate company terminal at the Anchorage Airport. Workers have their temperatures taken prior to boarding and are required to wear masks while on board.

Lowman said the Alpine camp has capacity for about 400 workers, but it is currently running with about 275.

She said Conoco is working with the state to respond to the positive tests.

The Alpine field is eight miles away from the Inupiaq village of Nuiqsut.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Presumptive case of COVID-19 reported at Diavik mine in Canadian Northwest Territories, CBC News

Greenland: Greenland prolongs COVID-19 assembly limits until 2021, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Iceland reinstates COVID-19 restrictions after spike in domestic infections, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Climate change hits back at Svalbard, coal mine flooded by melting glacier in Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia’s Murmansk region counts more COVID-19 cases than neighboring Norway or Finland, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Swedish authorities tasked with preparing for second coronavirus wave, Radio Sweden

United States: Coronavirus hurting Alaska attempt to reduce tuberculosis, The Independent Barents Observer

Lex Treinen, Alaska Public Media

For more news from Alaska visit Alaska Public Media.

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