16 Keeyask workers tested positive for COVID-19, 15 more given “unclear” result: MB Hydro

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16 workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Keeyask hydroelectric project in northern Manitoba, while 15 others have received an “unclear” result and are awaiting confirmation from the provincial lab, Manitoba Hydro said.On Monday, in Manitoba, Keewatinowi Okimakanak said he had been told by public health officials that 31 workers at the Keeyask site had tested positive for COVID-19.

Manitoba Hydro spokesman Bruce Owen said Monday afternoon that so far 16 workers have been confirmed positive, while 15 other workers have received an “uncertain” result from the initial screening test carried out by the Manitoba Hydro contract lab.

Any “unclear” result identified by the initial test is confirmed by a second test processed by the Cadham provincial lab, Owen said.

That number is up from Saturday, when five people in Keeyask tested positive for COVID-19, while 12 others had unclear results from their initial screening.

Manitoba Hydro last week said it was testing its entire workforce at the site after five workers tested positive for COVID-19.

All workers have now been tested, and currently 90 workers are isolated at the project site, Owen said.

First Nations demand more transparency

In a press release from Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) dated November 1, Dr. Barry Lavallee, the medical advisor of the MKO Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin health entity, advised First Nations people in Keeyask – or who have recently left Keeyask – to isolate himself. .

The press release goes on to say that MKO officials plan to meet with Manitoba Hydro about the situation on Monday and “will demand that they step up and provide clear and transparent communication to those working on the Keeyask construction project.” ”

Manitoba Hydro also said last week it would downsize at the site.

The Manitoba Assembly of Chiefs also expressed concerns on Monday over the situation in Keeyask, reiterating MKO’s call for the site to be placed under code red in the province’s pandemic response system.

AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas also called for more transparency from Manitoba Hydro, demanding that the crown corporation provide the chiefs of neighboring First Nations with the information and resources they need.

He said AMC was concerned about the testing and isolation methods Manitoba Hydro implemented, as neighboring First Nations were not made aware of this information.

“As First Nations, we will do what is reasonable and realistic in our homes to isolate ourselves as mandated by our leaders and public health professionals, however, First Nations are asking Manitoba Hydro to share the scope of the epidemic, with the test data and number of workers currently at the Keeyask site, ”he said.

“Once again, we demand that First Nations join the conversation and work together to find a safe and effective solution. ”

CBC News has asked Manitoba Hydro for comment.

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