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Interior Health links 19 confirmed COVID-19 cases to Kearl Lake oil sands outbreak

The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) confirmed 23 cases of COVID-19 stemming from the Kearl Lake oil sands site in Alberta.

Among those, Interior Health confirmed 12 cases among workers from Kearl Lake, as well as seven confirmed cases of people who did not travel to the site but had contact with a worker. 

“Of these 19 cases, 16 have recovered,” Interior Health said.

In response to the outbreak, the PHSA ordered on April 20, 2020 that all workers returning from Kearl Lake self-isolate for 14 days.

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“Workers and their families should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and if any symptoms develop, however mild, self-isolate and contact their healthcare provider or 8-1-1 to get tested,” the PHSA announced, “Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or painful swallowing, runny or stuffy nose, loss of sense of smell, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite.”

Of the 15 laboratory-confirmed cases province-wide, the PHSA reported eight additional cases and two presumed cases among those who had contact with workers returning from Kearl Lake. 

The B.C Centre for Disease Control added, “the entire Kearl Lake oil sands project is being treated as an outbreak site by B.C. Anyone who has been on site since March 24 may have been exposed to COVID-19.”

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