Operations continue at Irving sawmill after employee confirmed to have COVID-19

Logs are seen in an aerial view stacked at the Interfor sawmill, in Grand Forks, B.C., on May 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

One of Nova Scotia’s cases of COVID-19 has been confirmed to be an employee at the Irving Sawmill near Truro, N.S.

J.D. Irving confirmed the news in a press release on Saturday.

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Irving says that the employee has received the proper medical care and is self-isolating.

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The employee’s last shift at the sawmill was on March 22, according to J.D. Irving.

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When the company learned of the individual’s diagnoses on Friday evening they identified any potential exposure to other employees.

All potentially infected employees have been notified by the company and advised to call 811 if they present symptoms and will not return to the sawmill until further notice, J.D. Irving said.

The company says they had already implemented increased cleaning and disinfection measures before the incident.

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Social distancing, new protective barriers and personal protective equipment have also been made available on site.

The company says that Nova Scotia’s department of public health has informed them that operations at the sawmill can continue.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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