Gahcho Kué Mine Implements Additional COVID-19 Prevention Measures
20 March 2020
Media Release: 20 MARCH 2020 YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, CANADA
As part of its evolving response, De Beers Group is implementing further measures at Gahcho Kué Mine to minimize the chance of transmission of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to remote communities in the Northwest Territories (NWT). Fifteen Gahcho Kué mine employees and contractors who live in small, primarily fly-in communities have been requested to return home or to remain at home as a precautionary step to reduce the chance of transmission of COVID-19 into these communities. These workers live in Whati, Gameti, Lutsel K’e, Jean Marie River, Tulita, Fort Good Hope, Deline and Fort McPherson, each of which is only accessible by air or is more than three hours by road from advanced medical help. De Beers Group recognizes that the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing. By asking these employees and contractors to return or remain at home for the next month, the company is minimizing the risk of transmission to some of the NWT’s remote communities. This is the latest in a series of measures implemented at the mine since the end of February which are focused on safe production with the well-being of all employees, contractors and their families: • Restricting access to the mine to only include individuals required to support the operation • Mandatory temperature screening for everyone flying to the mine • Communicable disease protocols put in place at the mine including establishment of quarantine areas, additional sanitization of high contact areas and encouraging anyone not feeling well to call in sick from their rooms before reporting to the site medic • Mandatory handwashing for everyone entering the dining room, changing the dining schedule to reduce the number of people in the dining room at any one time, and other changes to reduce and eliminate items needed to be handled by multiple employees Gahcho Kué remains in operation. Operational continuity is critical for jobs, communities around our operations and local and regional economies. The mine has escalation plans to accommodate the ongoing impact of the pandemic and these will continue to be revised and improved as the situation evolves.