The Silvertip mine is located in British Columbia, just below the Yukon border. (Courtesy of Coeur Mining website)

The Silvertip mine is located in British Columbia, just below the Yukon border. (Courtesy of Coeur Mining website)

Four COVID-19 cases connected to Silvertip Mine

A precautionary exposure notice was issued by the Yukon government

Workers at the Silvertip mine who have left work in the previous two weeks are being asked to self-isolate after a possible COVID-19 exposure.

The Yukon government said a positive transmission of the virus was linked to the mine, which is located 90 kilometres from Watson Lake, and employs many people within that community in addition to Whitehorse and Lower Post, B.C.

Northern Health spokesperson Eryn Collins said there have been four positive COVID-19 cases linked to the mine, with three in B.C. and one in another non-Yukon jurisdiction. The individuals tested positive after returning from the mine site, meaning they could have been unknowingly infectious while at work.

“Public health officials are continuing to monitor. If there’s a need for any further information to be shared, either publicly or with the workforce, or if the situation and the status of it changes, we will absolutely be putting out information,” Collins said.

All Yukon and British Columbia workers who were at risk are being notified by the company, their employer or by Yukon Communicable Disease Control. The mine is owned by Coeur Mining.

Meanwhile, the Yukon government is asking “anyone working at the mine who has left the mine site within the previous two weeks” to self-isolate for 14 days following their departure from the mine.

Anyone who has been at the mine site in the past four weeks, starting Feb. 17 to present, should also carefully self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. If symptoms appear, they should self-isolate and get tested.

Testing is available at the Watson Lake Community Hospital and can be booked by calling 867-536-4444.

Symptoms to watch for include fever, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, running nose, sore throat, loss of sense of taste or smell, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and muscle aches.

The Yukon government has no scheduled COVID-19 update with the Chief Medical Officer of Health this week, but a press conference is expected on March 24.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

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