19 cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region linked to Alberta oilsands work camp

15 Kearl Lake oil sands workers have returned to B.C. with COVID-19
A COVID-19 outbreak at the Kearl Lake oil sands project in Alberta is spreading in B.C. The Interior Health Authority said 12 of the 15 workers who have become ill after returning to B.C. live in the IHA region. There are seven cases of the virus linked to the 12 workers in the IHA.

Interior Health says it has identified nineteen cases of COVID-19 linked to the outbreak at the Kearl Lake oil sands project in Alberta.

Spokesperson Susan Duncan says 12 confirmed cases in the Interior Health region are among workers from Kearl Lake, as well as seven confirmed cases of people who did not travel to Kearl Lake but had contact with a worker.

Of the 19 total cases, 16 people have fully recovered.

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

B.C.’s provincial health officer issued an order on April 20 declaring that workers returning to British Columbia from the Kearl Lake site in Alberta must self-isolate for 14 days.

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The entire Kearl Lake oil sands project is being treated as an outbreak site by B.C., said a public service announcement issued on Monday by B.C. health officials.

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Anyone who has been on site since March 24 may have been exposed to COVID-19, it said.

Workers may be travelling back and forth to the site for essential work and are required to self-isolate for 14 days every time they return to B.C.

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

To date, there have been 15 laboratory-confirmed cases province-wide among workers from the Kearl site.

There is one further presumed case among a person who was at Kearl Lake and reported symptoms but was not tested.

An additional eight laboratory-confirmed cases and two presumed cases have been reported among British Columbians who did not travel to Kearl Lake but had contact with a worker.

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

Cases were reported in three regional health authorities: Interior Health, Northern Health and Vancouver Island Health.