19 cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region linked to Alberta oilsands work camp

Interior Health says it has identified nineteen cases of COVID-19 linked to the outbreak at the Kearl Lake oil sands project in Alberta.

Spokesperson Susan Duncan says 12 confirmed cases in the Interior Health region are among workers from Kearl Lake, as well as seven confirmed cases of people who did not travel to Kearl Lake but had contact with a worker.

Of the 19 total cases, 16 people have fully recovered.

B.C.’s provincial health officer issued an order on April 20 declaring that workers returning to British Columbia from the Kearl Lake site in Alberta must self-isolate for 14 days.

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The entire Kearl Lake oil sands project is being treated as an outbreak site by B.C., said a public service announcement issued on Monday by B.C. health officials.

Anyone who has been on site since March 24 may have been exposed to COVID-19, it said.

Workers may be travelling back and forth to the site for essential work and are required to self-isolate for 14 days every time they return to B.C.

To date, there have been 15 laboratory-confirmed cases province-wide among workers from the Kearl site.

There is one further presumed case among a person who was at Kearl Lake and reported symptoms but was not tested.

An additional eight laboratory-confirmed cases and two presumed cases have been reported among British Columbians who did not travel to Kearl Lake but had contact with a worker.

Cases were reported in three regional health authorities: Interior Health, Northern Health and Vancouver Island Health.

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