In response to ongoing community concerns about the continuing operations of Teck Resources Ltd. in the Elk Valley, Interior Health released further information regarding mining operations in the area on April 9.
Representatives from Interior Health ensured communities that they have been “working with Teck to monitor local operations in light of the pandemic.”
According to a press release, this means that an Interior Health environmental health officer is in regular contact with Teck, and visits the Elk Valley lodging and mine sites to make sure all public health orders are being followed.
Although there is no provincial order currently in place that is specific to mining operations, the provincial health officer has provided guidance and directions for the day to day operations at mining sites.
“IH is assured that the proper practices and procedures are in place for environmental cleaning, symptom screening and physical distancing,” Interior Health noted in the press release. “Through the implementation of staggered shifts and reduced staffing, workers are not working in close contact as they would have been previously. The work camp has implemented additional precautions, including infrared screening when workers arrive at the lodge and routine symptom screening.”
Interior Health also wished to note that there are no positive cases of COVID-19 that are connected to Teck operations within the Elk Valley.
Teck will continue to work with Interior Health as the pandemic continues to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy during the COVID-19 crisis.
“If a case related to Teck operations was identified, IH would perform the same contact tracing as in other community cases and do enhanced testing of symptomatic individuals connected to the work camp and mining sites,” the health agency noted. “Individuals at work camps have been added to the priority list of those who will be tested for COVID-19 if they have respiratory symptoms.”
Interior Health, along with the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control reminds everyone to follow the advice of public health authorities and to check Bccdc.ca for up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic in British Columbia.