COVID-19 has greatly impacted all of our lives and even more so with the spike of cases in the Rainy River District in April. With increased knowledge of COVID-19, increased testing supplies and testing capabilities, our safety protocols have evolved at site to ensure adherence to the most recent public health and government guidance.
The Rainy River Mine first began testing non-local employees and contractors in August 2020. Testing was expanded to all employees and contractors staying at Atkinson Camp as well as the staff that work there. At the beginning of May, New Gold began testing all employees at the mine site on the first day of their rotation. Additional testing may also occur, depending on answers to questions on the daily screening questionnaire. As of May 19, over 1,500 tests were completed with no positive results. All prior cases (including the ten individuals referenced in the April 21 news release, all of whom were confirmed as COVID-positive by the Northwestern Health Unit) have recovered following the applicable quarantine period. Currently, there are no active cases of COVID-19 at the Rainy River Mine. The increase in testing allows a faster response to any issues; this is a positive step forward in keeping the site safe.
This large amount of testing could only be done with an increase in COVID-19 testing staff. We currently contract seven employees that are dedicated to COVID-19 testing, processing and assessing. The team ensures that the employees and contractors arriving on site feel confident and safe. The team works collectively to make these assessments available for 16 hours each day for employees and contractors. Together, we can continue to keep site personnel and the community safe.
Additional details regarding preventative measures implemented can be found on our website.