Canada’s Coastal GasLink Hit by Covid Outbreak
Brttish Columbia’s Northern Health Authority (NHA) declared a Covid-19 outbreak December 20 at two workforce accommodation sites on the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline project, with 27 identified infections, 17 of which remain active.
The two workforce lodges, 7 Mile Lodge and Little Rock Lake Lodge in BC’s northern interior, have been closed by NHA order to all but essential workers. Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Group (PAPG), CGL’s contractor in the area, has also closed Huckleberry Lodge.
“None of these lodges will be re-opened until Northern Health Authority, with the support of our medical experts, are confident that the plans in place can support the safe and healthy return of workers,” CGL said in a statement posted to its website.
The first Covid-19 infections on the CGL route were reported December 10, with two confirmed cases at each of 7 Mile Lodge and Little Rock Lake Lodge. Testing of 50 PAPG workers subsequently confirmed two more cases at Little Rock Lake Lodge on December 16 and five more December 18-19.
Of the more than 44,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in BC since the pandemic began, 42 have been reported among the CGL workforce, which at its peak numbers about 4,000 people across the 670-km project corridor.
The LNG Canada project site in Kitimat, the terminus of the CGL pipeline, suffered its own Covid-19 outbreak in November, and mid December the NHA identified new positive cases among Diversified Transportation employees providing services to LNG Canada, but stopped short of declaring an outbreak. There is no indication that the Diversified cases are related to the earlier LNG Canada cases, the NHA said.