Highland Valley Copper mine employee tests positive for COVID-19

The employee is a mill maintenance worker who was last at the mine site about an hour southwest of Kamloops on Nov.16. No close contacts of the infected person have been identified as having contracted the disease, according to the company.

An employee at Highland Valley Copper mine has tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee is a mill maintenance worker who was last at the mine site about an hour southwest of Kamloops on Nov.16.

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That day was also the only shift the person worked at the site dating back to Nov. 6, the mine’s parent company Teck said in an update posted to its website on Nov.19.

The employee is believed to have contracted COVID-19 as a result of an off-site exposure and contact tracing has been completed, with no close contacts of the infected person having been identified as contracting the disease, according to the company.

In the update, interim general manager Jason Sangha said workers who were not contacted do not need to self-isolate, but all employees are asked to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 — such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing — at all times.

“Highland Valley Copper will continue to work with public health authorities and take the necessary steps to manage the risk of transmission,” Sangha said, noting that includes tracing all potential contacts of the person and disinfecting work areas.

Teck’s COVID-19 prevention measures are aligned with guidance from public health authorities and more information on those protocols is available at www.teck.com/updates.

The measures include operating with reduced crew sizes, staggered shift start times, regular cleaning protocols, maintaining physical distancing on site, limiting visitors and requiring symptomatic workers and their close contacts to stay home form work.

“We will continue to closely monitor this situation and provide further updates to employees and contractors as required,” Sangha said.

This is the second known case of the virus at the mine site. In September, a contract worker who was on site for about three days tested positive for COVID-19,

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