Kirkland Lake employee who tested positive for COVID-19 rode in bus with others – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 31, 2020)

Tony Makuch, the chief executive of Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd., says a male employee who recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus left its Detour Lake mine in northern Ontario mine a couple of weeks ago on a bus with symptoms alongside other employees.

The individual, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, had spent a couple of days in self-isolation at the mine after getting sick earlier in the month before getting on the bus bound for Cochrane, Ontario.

About 25 other employees shared the more than two hour coach ride with the individual. Mr. Makuch said it never occurred to anyone that the man should have been escorted out of the site in an ambulance, so as to reduce the risk of virus spread to others on the bus.

“There was no thought at that time [to isolate the man],” he said. “We have a process in place now that we put everyone on the ambulance. We actually put it in place the next day.”

After the individual arrived back in Cochrane, he waited a few days before getting tested for COVID-19. Mr. Makuch said the man lives in the Cochrane region, is single and works at a “desk job,” at Detour.

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