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12 cases of COVID-19 confirmed at Kearl Lake

Last Updated Apr 16, 2020 at 8:55 pm MDT

Imperial Oil logo as seen at the company's annual meeting in Calgary on April 29, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Imperial Oil confirmed nine additional cases of COVID-19 with ties to its Kearl Lake oilsands facility.

The company first reported three cases on April 15.

READ MORE: Alberta reports outbreak at Kearl Lake oil sands project

Simon Younger, Vice-President of Production said Imperial will continue to take actions to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

“As of today, we have two active COVID-19 cases on-site, and 10 active cases away from site. We have completed contact tracing for all of these individuals and have asked additional members of our workforce to self-isolate while further testing is underway.”

Younger said Imperial first learned of its first confirmed case from a worker in self-isolation on-site since the previous week.

“This is actually of an individual, who had been in self-isolation at the camp, as part of the protocols we had in place.”

He said a second confirmed case is in self-isolation on-site.

10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have links to Kearl Lake as employees, contractors, visitors, or other individuals with some contact to the site.

Younger said Imperial continues to track these cases who are in various parts of the country.

“In the spirit of transparency, we’re also letting people know about other cases that we are monitoring out of an abundance of caution as part of our approach.”

Since early March, Kearl implemented health and safety protocols as recommended by Alberta Health Services.

These include pre-screenings at flight centres, increased cleaning, physical distancing, reduction of the non-essential workforce, and isolation protocols.

“We are committed to safeguarding the safety and health of our workforce and we are in contact with those who have tested positive to ensure they are supported. Our thoughts are with these individuals and hope they make a full recovery.”

Kearl established an isolation wing for affected workers.

Emergency assistance and mental health supports are also available for employees with symptoms or other health issues.

He said Imperial would continue coordinating its efforts with the Alberta government and Alberta Health Services.

Kearl Lake resides about 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray.