Keeyask COVID-19 response updates added to Manitoba Hydro website

This article was published in November 2020 and may be outdated.

Manitoba Hydro is now posting daily updates on its response to COVID-19 cases at the Keeyask Generating Station construction site, including the latest test results.

The Crown utility continues to provide daily briefings and engage with its Keeyask Cree Nation partners and public health authorities on the necessary measures to contain and control the spread of COVID-19. Daily updates are also provided to workers at the Keeyask construction site.

“Since the onset of the pandemic earlier this year, we’ve communicated with Keeyask workers, our First Nation partners and other stakeholders regularly and listened to their feedback on our Pandemic Response Plan,” said Jay Grewal, Manitoba Hydro’s President and CEO. “In addition, we have offered 14 days of self-isolation to Keeyask Cree Nation members since June in response to their concerns. We will continue to listen and act so that together we can all mitigate the spread of this infection.”

Grewal noted there have been weekly pandemic planning meetings since spring, including three table top planning sessions with a broad range of participants; daily briefs since spring outlining the pandemic response at site; and, since last Sunday, daily updates through meetings, phone calls and emails to leadership.

The corporation is reporting 23 workers are now confirmed positive and another eight workers, who received an initial “not clear” in a PCR screening test, are awaiting the results of a second test processed by the Cadham Provincial Lab. The utility tested all workers on the project last week.

There are currently 55 workers isolating in special dorms at the Keeyask site. All close contacts of those who received a confirmed positive test along with close contacts of any workers identified as “not clear” through the preliminary PCR screening test, are being isolated.

The corporation made the precautionary decision to test the entire workforce October 26, a day after receiving the first confirmed positive COVID test of a worker at the project site.

To date, Manitoba Hydro has also:

  • October 27 — closed common areas at the project’s camp, including the movie theatre, gymnasium, and the site lounge in order to help minimize the spread of the virus.
  • October 30 — stopped the movement of inbound workers to the site, with exception of a small number of staff required to maintain critical project operations. Those workers will continue to be tested prior to travelling to site.
  • October 31 — Instituted a temporary workforce reduction at the project site.

Manitoba Hydro continues to work with public health officials to implement any additional recommendations, including enhanced cleaning of regularly touched surfaces throughout the camp; daily screening with work crews prior to the start of the workday; and regular and ongoing communication about the importance of the fundamentals (mask-wearing, social distancing, and hand cleaning).

For more information, please contact:

Bruce Owen – Media Relations Officer

Scott Powell — Director, Corporate Communications
Cell. 204-299-8849