Coronavirus: Outbreak at Alberta oilsands work camp prompts warning from Interior Health

Imperial Oil's Kearl mine northeast of Fort McMurray, Alta. Imperial Oil handout

Interior Health issued a warning on Saturday of a COVID-19 outbreak at an Alberta oilsands work camp.

On Wednesday, Alberta’s chief medical officer announced the outbreak, stating three people connected to the Kearl Lake project had tested positive for COVID-19.

Now, 12 people connected to the camp north of Fort McMurray have tested positive for COVID-19, said Interior Health, which prompted Saturday’s information bulletin.

READ MORE: Three workers in Alberta oilsands camp test positive for COVID-19: Hinshaw

“Many residents in the Interior Health region travel to work camps in Alberta for employment and that there is potential for transmission between communities and between our provinces,” Interior Health said in its bulletin.

“IH medical health officers recommend that people who are contacts or potential contacts from this site self-isolate for 14 days from their last exposure to the site or to their flights home.”

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READ MORE: 9 additional COVID-19 cases confirmed at Kearl Lake oil sands facility

Interior Health is also asking anyone who experiences signs of illness, such as a fever or dry cough, to immediately self-isolate for 14 days.

“In all communities across IH,” said the release, “we need to assume the COVID-19 virus is present and stay home as much as possible, practise physical distancing, and wash our hands frequently with soap and water to prevent the spread of the illness.”

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