Teck Resources reported 16 new Covid-19 cases today at their Elk Valley Coal operations. The cases included six at their Fording River mine and 10 contractors working at the Selenium Treatment plant construction project near their Fording River mine. These cases are from testing between November 28 and December 11.
“We continue to focus on safeguarding the health and safety of workers and communities and have put in place comprehensive prevention measures across our sites aligned with guidance from public health agencies,” stated Chris Stannell, Teck Public Relations Manager.
This news comes during a day when Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 737 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., and 99 in the Interior Health region. The Fernie Local Health Area has recently been leading the Interior Health Region with new Covid-19 cases per capita. Read more about the Fernie Local Health Area here.
Teck’s Covid-19 cases involving out-of-province workers will not be counted in the Fernie Local Health Area case count.
Teck has been working with BC Health and implementing industry leading policies to prevent the spread of Covid-19. They have implemented extensive preventative measures across all their offices and operations in order to safeguard the health of employees and contractors, and trying to balance operating safely and responsibly to maintain employment and economic activity.
Measures in place at Teck’s sites include:
– Operating with reduced crew sizes
– Reducing or eliminating in person meetings and other large gatherings
– Staggering shift start times to support physical distancing
– Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, including frequent disinfecting of employee buses and work areas
– Promoting personal preventative measures, such as frequent handwashing
– Ensuring adequate supplies of critical COVID-19 prevention materials are available at site including PPE and disinfectants
– Screening all contractors and external visitors to site for risk factors and symptoms
– Increasing physical distancing practices at site, such as reducing the number of passengers on buses; separating groups of employees at work; cancelling large group meetings; changing meetings from in-person to electronic, e.g. holding crew meetings by radio
– Requiring employees who show symptoms or are in close contact with someone with symptoms to stay home from work
– Requiring employees returning from international travel to self-isolate
– Monitoring and maintaining communication with employees and contractors who have reported symptoms and are self-isolating
– Reducing the number of on-site staff as much as possible; implementing work from home where feasible
– Expanded sick leave coverage for affected employees
– Collaborating with public health authorities on COVID-19 controls, testing and contact tracing
Teck is a strong community supporter and has been proactively managing Covid-19. This virus is so contagious that even with these preventative measures in place it spreads exponentially. Please keep doing all you can to prevent the spread of this virus.
Be safe and happy holidays.