Canadian Manufacturing

Sick Fort McMurray worker tests negative for COVID-19

The worker was taken to hospital with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 on March 20

March 25, 2020  The Canadian Press

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – The operator of a work lodge north of Fort McMurray, Alta., said a guest who fell ill last week does not have COVID-19.

Houston-based Civeo Corp. said on March 20 the worker was taken to hospital with symptoms consistent with the novel coronavirus.

Civeo said it has since been informed by the worker, who was staying at the Borealis Lodge by Suncor’s base mine, that the test came back negative.

Civeo said its team followed stringent protocols and cautiously managed the situation to make sure everyone stayed safe.


The company said it has a screening protocol for all guests, contractors, employees and suppliers, as well as a quarantine and isolation protocol for anyone who shows symptoms.

Ian Robb, Canadian director of the hospitality industry union United Here, said work camp operators in the oilsands have a good handle on keeping COVID-19 away.

“We have full-time staff just wiping and sanitizing. That’s all they do 10 hours a day,” he said in a prepared statement.

Robb added some parts of worker lodges have been blocked off and non-essential workers have been sent home.

Social distancing is being stressed.

“They’re still a family up there, so they tend to have a habit,” said Robb. “Habits are pulling together at the dining room table and chatting about your day. Now they have to yell it across the table.”

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