Teck mining operations being monitored by IH
Interior Health (IH) is aware of questions in local communities about the ongoing Teck Resources Ltd. operations in the Elk Valley and COVID-19.
There is no provincial order specific to mining operations. However, the Provincial Health Officer has provided guidance and directions for day-to-day production and site operations. (March 25 Information Bulletin is available here.)
IH has been working with Teck to monitor local operations in light of the pandemic. An IH environmental health officer is in regular contact with Teck and makes site visits to the Elk Valley lodging and mine sites, with the most recent visit occurring on April 7.
IH is assured that the proper practices and procedures are in place for environmental cleaning, symptom screening and physical distancing. 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.
There are currently no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 connected to Teck operations in the Elk Valley.
IH will continue to work with Teck, their medical director/occupational health physician, their manager for workplace health and safety, WorkSafe BC, and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources to follow this large work site, to support enhanced precautions and screening of employees.
If a case related to Teck operations was identified, IH would perform the same contact tracing as other community cases and do enhanced testing of symptomatic individuals connected to the work camp and mining sites. 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.
The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control is the recommended resource for provincial information that is accurate and current. Information is being updated frequently on the site at this time and individuals are encouraged to check back regularly.
Interior Health also has frequently updated information on our website www.interiorhealth.ca.