Northern Health Public Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak among contracted workforces on the Site C hydroelectric dam project. The declaration follows evidence of COVID-19 transmission among employees working primarily on civil works and excavation for the project.
To date, in association with this outbreak, there have been 34 lab-confirmed cases identified among five clusters of COVID-19 activity. A total of 13 cases remain active. The two most recent and currently active clusters are among employees of Peace River Hydro Partners (PRHP), and include a total of 7 active cases.
Employees are being screened, and contact tracing is continuing. Those identified as cases and close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate, either at their worksite accommodations, or in their home communities. Northern Health is working with the BC Centre for Disease Control to ensure communication with the health authorities or jurisdictions of affected employees’ home communities outside of BC.
NH Public Health has been working closely with BC Hydro, the Site C project and its contractors, and WorksafeBC, on management of small clusters of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. The outbreak declaration puts in place enhanced control measures where there has been evidence of ongoing transmission of illness, including, but not limited to:
- Increased focus on COVID-19 prevention measures such as employee screening and physical distancing on the worksite
- Review of COVID-19 safety plans, project-wide
- Ongoing workforce COVID-19 immunizations, including contracted employees and rotational workers
NH Medical Health Officers, Site C and its contractors, and WorksafeBC, will continue to monitor and respond to the outbreak, as well as managed clusters of COVID-19 cases associated with the project. At this time, Medical Health Officers have determined there is no need for closure orders for the overall project, or individual project worksites.
The outbreak declaration will be in place for at least 28 days.