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Links discovered during COVID-19 investigation at Horizon

PHOTO. A 2012 file photo of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Horizon facility. The worksite lies about 80 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Alta. MYMCMURRAY/File Photo.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNRL) confirmed five cases of COVID-19 with ties to its Horizon worksite.

Dr Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, made the announcement in her May 13 update on COVID-19 response in Alberta.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Alberta declares COVID-19 outbreak at CNRL Horizon site

CNRL Public Affairs manager Julie Woo said all five work for service providers at Horizon.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) notified CNRL on May 2 an individual from a maintenance service provider tested positive for COVID-19.

“This individual completed their shift on April 28, and following their return home began to experience symptoms. Canadian Natural immediately began contact tracing efforts, isolation procedures, and provided information to AHS on close contacts that would require testing.”

In its investigation, CNRL identified three close contacts with the same maintenance service provider that also tested positive.

All three worked the same shift as the first case on May 2.

“All individuals are not on site as they either became symptomatic while off site or were immediately isolated as per our protocols.”

AHS also notified CNRL of another unrelated case linked to Horizon that tested positive on April 29.

READ MORE: Fourth day no new COVID-19 cases in RMWB

That individual worked as a camp services provider at the worksite.

Woo said CNRL has significant precautionary measures in place to limit the spread of COVID 19.

She added the company follows stringent response protocol from public health officials when any staff shows symptoms of the illness.

“While on-site and in camp facilities, all personnel are required to wear face masks while working with other individuals. As well, we have medical personnel on-site to complete health assessments and work together with Alberta Health Services.”

Officials at CNRL worksites also devised physical distancing markers on floors, increased space and cleaning in dining halls before, during, and after mealtimes, and pre-packaged individual meals.

The company even expanded precautionary measures to air and ground travel to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

  • Officials keep work travel groups at a size so individuals may have an appropriate physical distance between them.
  • Adjusted flight times reduce the number of people at our aerodromes and onboard planes at any given time.
  • Passengers on buses and planes must sit with empty seats between them.
  • All passengers on company flights and buses must wear a face-covering or mask, either provided by the company or using their own personal mask.


Employees, contract workers, or visitors to CNRL’s air or bus transportation hubs must complete pre-screening criteria such as travel history reviews and temperature checks.

Flight terminals, aerodromes, aeroplanes and buses between services also undergo enhanced cleaning and sanitization.

Horizon lies about 80 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Alta.