No new COVID cases at Site C

Dr. Bonnie Henry reported no new cases of COVID-19 at Site C on Monday. 

There remains just one confirmed case at the project site outside of Fort St. John, first reported by BC Hydro on Friday, though the number of those in quarantine at the work camp has jumped considerably over the weekend, from five to 15.

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There were 1,367 workers at the camp as of Monday morning. Officials said not all of the 15 isolating workers were close contacts of the affected worker, though neither BC Hydro or Northern Health could provide a more detailed breakdown when asked.

"Under the direction of Northern Health, contact tracing has been completed and as a result, some additional people are in isolation at camp. These workers are in a separate isolation dormitory," spokesman Dave Conway said.

"In addition, there are isolations not related to contact tracing and they are located in a different isolation dormitory."

BC Hydro has five dorms and 150 rooms at the work camp to quarantine workers with COVID, or those with symptoms of sneezing, sore throat, muscle aches, headaches, cough fever, or difficulty breathing.

There were four other workers who went in self-isolation on Friday, and Northern Health said Monday it had completed its tracing work.

“Contact tracing work is complete, and there are a number of individuals who are self-isolating to monitor for symptoms, as a result,” said health authority spokesperson Eryn Collins.

“But it’s important to note that there are other reasons for individuals to self-isolate, and that not all of those self isolations are due to being identified as a close contact. For example, anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should be isolating at least until their test result comes back, and it is determined that their symptoms are not due to COVID-19.”

Conway also said no additional COVID cases have been identified at the site. "Isolation numbers can be expected to fluctuate. We will continue to update the numbers daily," he said.

BC Hydro said Friday the worker arrived from Alberta on July 13, and immediately self-isolated after receiving their test results from Alberta Health Services on July 15. A second test by Northern Health confirmed the worker was positive on July 16.

Dr. Henry said Friday that the worker had a "very small number" of contacts at the site who had been identified and put into isolation to be monitored. "They’ve had no contact with any of the communities in that area," she said.

The affected worker is employed with Peace River Hydro Partners, the primary civil works contractor hired to build Site C.

CLAC, the union that represents the worker, says it is working with the company as well as BC Hydro and Northern Health to ensure a "free flow of information", and that safety protocols including handwashing, sanitization, and physical distancing are being properly followed on site.  

"The affected person is one of our members," said CLAC representative Curtis Haugan. "I reached out to him Friday to see how he was holding up, and he is in good spirits and being well taken care of by the camp staff."

BC Hydro has regularly reported the number of workers at camp and those in isolation since March. The isolation dorms reached a peak occupancy of 16 workers on March 23.

Meanwhile, Dr. Henry reported 102 new COVID cases across B.C. on Monday, just one of them in the Northern Health region.

This is a developing story.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at 

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