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COVID-19 outbreak reported at Kearl Lake oilsands project

An outbreak of COVID-19 has been reported at an oilsands facility north of Fort McMurray. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says three workers at Kearl Lake tested positive for the virus.

“Alberta Health Services continues to work closely with the company to implement outbreak procedures at the site and to minimize any risk of transmission.”

The facility is jointly owned by Imperial and ExxonMobil Canada. Another six people are awaiting test results and are in self-isolation.

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Mayor Don Scott says he’s concerned by the outbreak, saying the municipality has been advocating for more transparent and detailed information about cases in the region.

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“The health and wellbeing of those who live and work in our region remains my paramount concern. I believe that public awareness of cases in our region will help us respond appropriately.”

Director of Emergency Management Scott Davis assures residents the community is in a good position to deal with cases of COVID-19.

“Alberta has one of the highest testing rates in the world — given the volume of tests that are being completed — we can anticipate that the number of cases in our region will increase in the coming weeks. Each of us has a role to play in following public health order and flattening the curve.”

Another 126 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed across Alberta Wednesday, bringing the total to 1,996. There are 44 people in hospital, and 10 in the ICU.

No deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, and 2,853 tests have been done over the past 24 hours. However, further data is not available at this time due to a technical issue with the reporting application.

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