16 workers at Keeyask test positive for COVID-19, another 15 given ‘not clear’ result: MB Hydro

16 workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Keeyask Hydroelectric Project in northern Manitoba, while another 15 were given a “not clear” result and are awaiting confirmation from the provincial lab, Manitoba Hydro said. 

On Monday Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak said they were told by public health officials that 31 workers at the Keeyask site have tested positive for COVID-19.

Manitoba Hydro spokesperson Bruce Owen said Monday afternoon that thus far 16 workers have been confirmed positive, while another 15 workers received a “not clear” result from the initial screening test performed by Manitoba Hydro’s contracted laboratory.

Any “not clear” result identified by the initial test is confirmed by a second test processed by the Cadham Provincial Lab, Owen said. 

That count is up from Saturday, when five people at Keeyask had tested positive for COVID-19, while another 12 had unclear results of their initial screening.

Last week Manitoba Hydro said it was testing its entire workforce at the site after five workers tested positive for COVID-19.

All of the workers have now been tested, and currently 90 workers are in isolation at the project site, Owen said. 

In a news release from Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) dated Nov. 1, Dr. Barry Lavallee, the medical advisor for MKO health entity Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin, advised First Nations members at Keeyask — or who have recently left Keeyask — to self-isolate.

The news release goes on to say that MKO officials are planning to meet with Manitoba Hydro about the situation Monday and “will be demanding that they step up and provide clear and transparent communication to the people working at the Keeyask construction project.”

Manitoba Hydro also said last week that it would be reducing its workforce at the site.