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Local industry partners address COVID-19 concerns

A processing unit at Suncor Fort Hills facility in Fort McMurray Alta, on Monday September 10, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Local industry spoke about the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.

In a statement, the Oil Sands Community Alliance (OSCA) and its member companies said it will actively monitor the situation across Canada.

Karim Zariffa, Executive Director for OSCA, said they are in regular communication with Alberta Health Services (AHS)

“Our member companies have robust pandemic procedures as part of their respective emergency response plans as mandated by Occupational Health and Safety.”

Zariffa said a number of precautionary measures to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19 are already underway:

  • Implementing procedures to manage and monitor travel to at-risk countries by employees and contractors.
  • Cancelling any non-essential business travel to at-risk countries.
  • Encouraging employees and contractors to change personal travel plans.
  • Reviewing contingency plans to maintain business continuity.


Zariffa added OSCA shall continue coordinating with provincial and municipal agencies as they keep an eye on the health of the local workforce.


The Fort McMurray Airport Authority is also active in monitoring COVID-19.

As of publication, YMM did not experience any impacts on commercial flights.

Margaret Ziolecki, Senior Manager of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Airport Authority, said the risk of exposure to Canadian travellers remains low.

“We are actively working with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Emergency Management department as part of the municipal Incident Management Team. The RMWB is sharing information with us from Alberta Health Services, Alberta Emergency Management Agency, and federal partners.”

Ziolecki added residents with concerns may receive updated and accurate information on the Government of Alberta website.

For more information, go to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Travel Health Advisory Notices.