COVID-19 outbreak declared at East-West Tie Project construction site near Thunder Bay

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Valard Construction says it’s going “above and beyond” public health regulations to contain a COVID-19 outbreak that was declared recently at its construction camp in Marathon.

Work is continuing at the site, a billion-dollar, 450-kilometre power line construction project between Thunder Bay and Wawa.

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) is actively investigating an outbreak of COVID-19 associated with Valard Construction’s, East-West Tie Project camp located in the town of Marathon. Public health staff is working in collaboration with Valard Construction’s management team.

Five individuals with COVID-19 have been identified in recent days. All close contacts of these cases that have been identified and are currently self-isolating.

Valard has already undertaken many measures to reduce any spread of the virus at the site including PCR testing and a full lockdown, with all camp personnel isolating.

“At this time, individuals identified as close contacts will be contacted directly by a public health nurse and provided instructions about what they need to do,” the health unit said in a statement.

Workers testing positive have been relocated from the camp to self-isolate in Thunder Bay, as directed by the health unit.

“The isolation and testing of our entire camp personnel is above and beyond the directions received from [public health,” TBnewswatch.ca reported on Monday.

“Valard has Health Canada-approved COVID-19 PCR testing equipment and is using that as an extra precaution before removing the full camp lockdown.”

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