COVID-19 outbreak declared at Snare Hydro System worksite in NWT, Canada

By Elizabeth Ingram, HydroReview content director

The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) of Northwest Territories, Canada, has declared an outbreak at the Northwest Territories Power Corporation’s (NTPC) Snare Hydro System worksite after two people developed COVID-19 since Sept. 11, 2021 including one person who acquired COVID-19 on site.

An outbreak in a closed facility in the Northwest Territories is declared when one or more confirmed or probable case(s) of COVID-19 is acquired within the facility. The investigation determined there is no COVID-19 exposure in Northwest Territories communities from this outbreak.

Public health officials are working with the NTPC to ensure the two positive cases and associated contacts continue to safely isolate. NTPC will test all employees at the work site and continue to work with Public Health officials to mitigate additional risk of further transmission, according to a release.

The Snare Hydro System provides power to Yellowknife, Behchoko and Dettah, north of Great Slave Lake. The Snare Hydro system is located on the Snare River about 140 km northwest of Yellowknife. The system includes: Snare Rapids, with one 8-MW unit and one 500-kW unit; Snare Falls with one 7.4-MW unit; Snare Cascades with one 4.3-MW unit; and Snare Forks with two 5-MW units and a 150-kW standby unit.

The OCPHO is announcing 16 new cases of COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories since Sept. 14. The total number of recent cases has increased to 572. There are 195 active cases among residents in the territory, plus four active out-of-territory cases and one previous death.

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