7 Oil Workers From BC Just Returned Home From Alberta With COVID-19
Bonnie Henry is cracking down. Several oil workers have just returned to B.C. from Alberta where they were working. Dr. Bonnie Henry told the public on Monday, April 20 that the workers from the Alberta oilsands camp have tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, she is issuing mandatory isolation for anyone returning from the Kearl Lake project site.
Dr. Bonnie Henry delivered the announcement on Monday in her daily press conference about the province's response to COVID-19.
"We've now come to understand that there has been transmission to people who have come back to BC, associated to the Kearl Lake project in Alberta," she said.
Seven people in B.C. have already been directly linked to the oilsands worksite north of Fort McMurray and more people who have come from the camp are in the process of getting tested.
Dr. Henry said that she's heard from the Alberta team that an ongoing investigation is taking place to monitor and trace the outbreak at the facility.
"There are concerns about people who may have travelled to other provinces, as well as here in British Columbia," she added.
Fort McMurray Today reported that an outbreak has taken shape at the camp. 20 people from the worksite have tested positive for COVID-19, eight of whom have gone to other provinces, including B.C.
Kearl Lake has confirmed this news in a press release. "We are taking this situation very seriously," they explained.
They have completed contact tracing for the infected individuals and have asked other members of their workforce to self-isolate as more testing ramps up.
In B.C., the top doctor is issuing a mandatory isolation order for anyone returning to B.C. from Kearl Lake. This means that they would have to self-isolate for 14 days after their return.
The order applies to anyone who's been at that worksite since March 15. Dr. Henry acknowledged that for many returning residents, the isolation period may have already passed.
She said that if those people had or continue to have symptoms, they need to contact 811 and connect with the health authorities.
She is also urging the family members of the returning workers to monitor their symptoms.
The Interior Health and Northern Health zones in B.C. were identified as areas where individuals from Kearl Lake have tested positive for the disease. Close contacts of those individuals have been identified.
Dr. Henry is expecting more cases associated with Kearl Lake as there are a number of people travelling back and forth between the provinces "as part of the essential work they do," she said.
Oilsands have been declared essential services by Jason Kenney's government in Alberta.
As of Monday, April 20, Alberta's health officials are still working to determine the number of total cases at oilsands camps since numbers from B.C. take time to be lodged into Alberta's full count, as mentioned in the Albertan daily press conference.