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Manitoba Hydro completes testing of all Keeyask employees

Utility taking responsible measures to protect health and safety of workers on project

This article was published in November 2020 and may be outdated.

Manitoba Hydro today announced the completion of COVID-19 testing of the entire workforce at the Keeyask Generating Station construction site. The corporation made the precautionary decision last Monday to test the entire workforce following the first confirmed positive COVID test of a worker at the project site on October 25.

All initial and secondary testing was completed by Saturday, October 31. Updated test results were delivered this morning. As of today, 16 workers have been confirmed positive, while another 15 workers received a “not clear” result from the initial test performed by Manitoba Hydro’s contracted laboratory. Any “not clear” result identified by the initial test is confirmed by a second test processed by the Cadham Provincial Lab.

Contact tracing and isolation for all workers who have been confirmed positive or who have received a “not clear” initial test result has been conducted. All close contacts of those who have received a “not clear” or confirmed positive test, as identified by public health officials, have been isolated in special dorms at the site set aside as part of the project’s Pandemic Response plan, activated this past spring. Currently 90 workers are in isolation at the project site, while another 35 workers have been transported offsite to complete their isolation in accordance with established public health guidelines. This includes seven workers who were confirmed as COVID-19 positive.

Prior to receiving this morning results, as a precautionary measure Manitoba Hydro made the decision Saturday to institute a temporary workforce reduction at the project site. Manitoba Hydro also made the decision on October 27 to close 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. The utility also stopped the movement of inbound workers to the site on Friday, 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.

As is happening across Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro is continuing to adjust its course of action as the spread of COVID-19 increases province-wide, and as the levels of the provincial pandemic response plan change. The corporation continues to implement the recommendations of public health officials. This includes ensuring contractors notify any staff who have left the project site since October 20 that they must self-monitor for 14 days from the date of their departure and get a COVID test if they have not already received one. Manitoba Hydro will continue to provide updates on the situation at Keeyask. Read latest information on the provincial COVID response and how to stay safe.

For more information, please contact:

Bruce Owen – Media Relations Officer

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