Manitoba Hydro has initiated a temporary reduction in the number of workers at the Keeyask Generating Station construction site as part of a measured strategy to contain COVID-19 cases identified through ongoing testing of the project’s entire workforce.
“We’ve taken this deliberate step to protect the health and safety of the workers on the project and the neighbouring communities,” said Jay Grewal, Manitoba Hydro’s President and CEO.
“With the increasing number of COVID cases we’re seeing in Manitoba and the escalation of levels in the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System announced Friday, we feel that this decision — informed by the latest guidance from public health officials — is absolutely the right course of action to take,” she said.
All 764 workers at site have been tested using a private lab contracted by Manitoba Hydro to provide an initial screening. Any screening test indicating a ‘not clear’ result is then verified by a second test through the Cadham Provincial Lab before it is confirmed as a positive case.
As of Saturday, Oct. 31 at 3 p.m., five individuals are confirmed as positive. An additional 12 received a not clear in the preliminary screening test, and 696 workers received a clear result. Contact tracing and isolation continues for all staff noted as not clear and their identified close contacts.
Plans for this temporary reduction are under development. This includes ensuring the safety and security of the project is maintained. No new workers are travelling to site except for staff required to maintain critical project operations.
“We’re taking this proactive precautionary measure to stop the spread of the virus,” said Grewal. “We’ll continue to work with our partner communities to support their individual pandemic response plans.”
No timeline has been identified when regular work rotations will resume following the temporary reduction. That decision, said Grewal, will be determined in accordance with guidance from public health officials.
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