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Jul 19 2021

COVID-19 Update

Posted by Coastal GasLink

At Coastal GasLink, nothing matters more to us than the health and safety of our workers, their families and local communities. We continue to follow the guidelines of Dr. Bonnie Henry for Industrial Camps and engage directly with adjacent Indigenous communities and local governments. 

Numbers are updated weekly.

Coastal GasLink COVID-19 update as of July 19:
Current workforce 4,236
Number of new cases

0

Total number of cases since March 2020 94
 
April 14 Update

B.C. Public Health Order update

As of April 13, 2021, B.C.’s Public Health Officer rescinded the previously declared Order and issued a new order on Industrial Projects within the Northern Health Authority Region and Industrial Camps along with additional guidance to several major industrial projects in Northern British Columbia.

More information can be found in this Order of the Provincial Health Officer

Since the original Order was put in place in January 2021, our efforts have been focused on safely continuing with critical fieldwork with a limited workforce approved by public health officials with great success.

We have also been working collaboratively with Northern Health and the B.C. Public Health Officer to develop an enhanced COVID-19 Management Plan. This enhanced plan includes robust and effective health and safety measures designed in accordance with public health guidelines, to help keep workers and communities safe, such as asymptomatic testing for all workers arriving to site. This approved plan provides a strong foundation to safely progress the Coastal GasLink Project.

Coastal GasLink is vital to the long-term prosperity of the North, B.C. and Canada, and we remain focused on delivering this project with our prime contractors, Indigenous and local community partners in a safe and efficient manner.

Our top priority is the health and safety of our workforce and their families, as well as Indigenous and local communities and will continue to evaluate our plans for effectiveness and implement improvements, as necessary. 

As we continue to follow all health guidelines, we are committed to making sure our workers and surrounding Indigenous and local communities have access to the information they need. You can stay connected and get updates by visiting CoastalGasLink.com/Safety.


January 22 Update 

As of January 22, 2021, Northern Health Authority has declared an end to the COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink’s workforce accommodation sites, Little Rock Lake Lodge and 7 Mile Lodge.

There have been no new cases reported since December 24, 2020 in association with the outbreak that was first declared on December 19, 2020. All individuals affected have recovered and their close contacts have completed their required self-isolation.

More information can be found in this Northern Health Information Bulletin. 

At Coastal GasLink, nothing matters more to us than the health and safety of our workers, their families and local communities. We continue to follow the guidelines of Dr. Bonnie Henry and engage directly with adjacent Indigenous communities and local governments. 

For further information on our COVID-19 protocols, please visit the links below:


January 12 update

Northern Health has provided an update on the outbreak previously declared at two Coastal GasLink accommodation sites in this Information Bulletin. Along with our prime contractor for this area, Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Construction (PAPC), we continue to collaborate with Northern Health to monitor the situation, as well as to develop a plan to safely resume operations, subject to public health approval.


December 31 update

Coastal GasLink and our prime contractor, Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Construction, continue to work with Northern Health Authority to monitor COVID-19 cases at Little Rock Lake Lodge and 7 Mile Lodge.

More information can be found in this Northern Health Information Bulletin.

Both Little Rock Lake Lodge and 7 Mile Lodge remain closed to non-essential workers, and we are conferring with our contractors to develop remobilization plans that safeguard the health of our workforce and neighbouring communities, as well as abide by the new health order from the BC Provincial Health Officer.

We will keep working diligently to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being as we welcome 2021 in.

Please view CoastalGasLink.com for current news on all safety news.


December 30 update

We continue to follow the guidelines set by Dr. Bonnie Henry, including extensive Infection Prevention and Control Plans in place at all worksites and lodges.

Yesterday, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) provided new guidance to all major industrial projects in Northern British Columbia with a specific order clarifying expectations on a safe and staggered remobilization process. This new order from the PHO is focused on limiting the potential for COVID-19 transmission in early 2021 from the restart of industrial projects in the north. The order outlines significant restrictions on the number of workers permitted across five major industrial projects in the north for the early part of 2021. The order also requires plans to be developed and approved before incremental increases to workforce occur, as detailed in the order.

For Coastal GasLink, the workforce will be limited to 400 across the project in January, which is a level to ensure workforce accommodations, project infrastructure and equipment are safe and secure. Over the coming days, we will be reviewing the impacts of the order with our contractors and putting together the best path forward possible for our project.

We are committed to staying in contact with regular updates as our plans are developed. Our first priority continues to be our people – we’re focused on the health and safety of the workforce, their families and local communities.

Stay up-to-date on all Coastal GasLink Infection and Prevention news at Coastal GasLink.com/Safety.


December 24 update

Coastal GasLink and our prime contractor, Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Construction (PAPC), continue to collaborate with Northern Health Authority assisting with monitoring, testing and contact tracing of COVID-19 cases associated with the outbreak declared at two of our workforce accommodation sites.

More information can be found in this Northern Health Information Bulletin.

The workforce accommodation sites, 7 Mile Lodge, and Little Rock Lake Lodge have been closed and limited to essential staff to support those in self-isolation and to ensure safe operation of the sites. None of these Lodges will re-open until approval has been granted of our updated COVID-19 safety plans by Northern Health Authority.

At Coastal GasLink, nothing matters more to us than the health and safety of our workers, their families and local communities. We continue to follow the guidelines of Dr. Bonnie Henry for Industrial Camps and engage directly with adjacent Indigenous communities and local governments.

We wish everyone a safe and happy holidays.

Please visit Coastal GasLink.com for more information about the COVID-19 Infection and Prevention


December 20 Update

On Dec. 19, 2020, Northern Health Authority Medical Health Officers declared a COVID-19 outbreak at two workforce accommodation sites: 7 Mile Lodge near Burns Lake, and Little Rock Lake Lodge near Fraser Lake and — both located in the northern interior of BC.

More information can be found in this Northern Health Information Bulletin

Our primary concern is for the health and safety of our workforce, their families and communities. Essential resources, including medical, will remain on-site to support those in isolation and their recovery.

Coastal GasLink, our contractors and medical provider, International SOS, continue to support the workforce and work closely with Northern Health to identify anyone who may be at risk of exposure.

As a proactive measure and out of an abundance of caution, in addition to closing 7 Mile and Little Rock Lake Lodges to all but essential staff, our contractor Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Group (PAPC) has also proactively closed Huckleberry Lodge, near Houston. 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.

More information is available at: www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/public-exposures-and-outbreaks

At Coastal GasLink, nothing matters more to us than safety. In addition to immediately supporting the work on a plan for these lodges, we will continue to review all plans in place and work with our contractors, Northern Health and our medical experts to implement changes or improvements where necessary. Coastal GasLink will continue to engage directly with adjacent Indigenous communities and local governments.

Please visit Coastal GasLink.com/Safety for more information about the COVID-19 Infection and Prevention Plans in place across the project corridor and for further updates.


December 19 Update

As at 8 a.m. Dec. 19, Coastal GasLink has been notified of four new positive cases of COVID-19 at Little Rock Lake Lodge, bringing the total to seven. We continue to work collaboratively with our prime contractors and Northern Health and have completed testing of additional workers with a total of 64* swabs collected on Dec. 17 and Dec. 18, with the support of Coastal GasLink’s medical provider, International SOS.

We continue to support Northern Health in closely monitoring this cluster and are engaged with local and Indigenous communities to keep them informed.

Of BC's more than 44,000 positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, 42 of them were reported among the Coastal GasLink workforce, which at its peak numbers approximately 4,000 people across the 670-kilometre project corridor.

The cases were within the following Health Regions:

  • Northeast – 8
  • Northern Interior – 26
  • Northwest – 8

Our top priority is the health and safety of our workforce and their families, as well as Indigenous and local communities. We continue to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidelines for Industrial Camps and evaluate our plans for effectiveness and implement improvements, as necessary.

Please visit Coastal GasLink.com for more information about the measures in place and for further updates.

*Total number of swabs collected has been corrected.


December 18 Update

Coastal GasLink has been notified of one additional confirmed case of COVID-19 at Little Rock Lake Lodge, bringing the total to three cases. We continue to work collaboratively with our prime contractors and Northern Health to undertake testing of additional workers and a total of 59 swabs were collected for testing on Dec. 17, with additional tests scheduled for Dec. 18 with the support of Coastal GasLink’s medical provider, International SOS.
 
We continue to support Northern Health in closely monitoring this cluster and are engaged with local and Indigenous communities to keep them informed. Of BC's more than 44,000 positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, 38 of them were reported among the Coastal GasLink workforce, which at its peak numbers approximately 4,000 people across the 670-kilometre project corridor. The cases were within the following Health Regions:
  • Northeast – 8
  • Northern Interior – 22
  • Northwest – 8
Our top priority is the health and safety of our workforce and their families, as well as Indigenous and local communities. We continue to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidelines for Industrial Camps and evaluate our plans for effectiveness and implement improvements, as necessary.

December 16 Update

Coastal GasLink and our prime contractors are working collaboratively with Northern Health to conduct COVID-19 testing for approximately 50 members of our workforce at 7 Mile Lodge and Little Rock Lake Lodge, following two confirmed cases at Little Rock Lake Lodge. This testing will be done to assess and limit possible additional exposures and help protect the health and safety of our workers and the local communities.  

Coastal GasLink has been notified of two confirmed cases at Little Rock Lake Lodge and two additional cases at 7 Mile Lodge which were previously reported to Northern Health and confirmed positive on Dec. 10 and 11.  

Coastal GasLink’s medical provider, International SOS, will assist Northern Health by providing support to conduct testing. All workers who are considered to have been in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case must isolate and there will be no movement or travel of workers associated with these cases without consultation with Northern Health. 

Coastal GasLink recognizes the importance of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 – nothing matters more to us than the safety of our people and local and Indigenous communities. We must remain hyper-vigilant to protect our workforce and local communities and if exposure does occur, take immediate action to minimize the potential for spread – whether that is at home or at work.  

Of BC's more than 44,000 positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, 37 of them were reported among the Coastal GasLink workforce, which at its peak numbers approximately 4,000 people across the 670-kilometre project corridor.

The cases were within the following Health Regions: 

  • Northeast – 8 
  • Northern Interior – 21 
  • Northwest – 8 

We are engaged with local and Indigenous communities and continue to keep them informed.  

Coastal GasLink and our contractors have implemented extensive Infection Prevention and Control Plans for work sites and lodgesWhether at work or at home, any individual who is positive for COVID-19 is required to follow the public health guidelines to help limit community spread.  

Our top priority is the health and safety of our workforce and their families, as well as Indigenous and local communities. We continue to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidelines for Industrial Camps and evaluate our plans for effectiveness and implement improvements, as necessary. 

Please visit CoastalGasLink.com/Safety for more information about the measures in place and for updates.  


December 15 Update

Coastal GasLink has been made aware of concerns from workers and Indigenous and local communities regarding the movement of workers and potential COVID-19 exposure at Little Rock Lake Lodge. To clarify, as the path of work moves from west to east along the project route, several workers from the welding crew were transferred from 7 Mile Lodge to Little Rock Lake Lodge on December 12th. The move was for logistical reasons to allow workers to settle and prepare for work to begin in January. No individuals that were moved had tested positive or were symptomatic.  

As required in the provincial guidelines, individuals with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 will be promptly relocated to an area separate from others, asked to complete an online self-assessment tool, and will be placed under the supervision of Project Medical Personnel. In all cases where self-isolation has been recommended, workers will be provided the support they require to stay in the lodge they reside in unless a higher level of care is needed. Those who choose to travel home to self-isolate are required to contact their employer who, supported by Public Health’s guidance will determine how to travel home in a safe and responsible manner. Those who choose to leave must follow all regional and provincial public health requirements regarding travel and self-isolation. 

The project has extensive Infection Prevention and Control Plans in place and whether at work or at home, any individual who is positive for COVID-19 is required to follow the public health guidelines to help limit community spread. 

At Coastal GasLink we understand there is an increased concern and fear we are all experiencing around the global pandemic, however, misinformation often can unnecessarily contribute to that fear and we want to ensure our workers, Indigenous and local communities receive up to date and transparent information while protecting the privacy of individuals. Our top priority is the health and safety of our workforce and their families, as well as Indigenous and local communities. To date, virus transmission within Coastal GasLink’s lodges has been minimal and the infection prevention and control measures in place have proven effective.  

Please take a moment to view our most recent COVID-19 statement and read through our health & safety fact sheet.


December 10 Update

Coastal GasLink, our contractors and medical provider, International SOS, are working closely to support Northern Health in monitoring and managing a cluster of COVID-19 cases affecting several members of the Coastal GasLink workforce.

With COVID-19 occurring in communities across the North, we all must remain hyper-vigilant to protect ourselves and each other from exposure and if exposure does occur, take immediate action to minimize the potential for spread – whether that’s at home or at work.

Coastal GasLink was first notified of a lab-confirmed case of a member of the workforce on Nov. 25, 2020. At this time, Coastal GasLink supported contact tracing efforts by Northern Health, whose responsibility is to identify and communicate with those identified as close contacts and who may have been exposed to the virus and requiring isolation. This cluster totals nine positive cases.

We continue to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidelines and have extensive Infection Prevention and Control Plans in place at all worksites and lodges.  

Our contractors and medical providers support workers in isolation and if separate quarters are not available on-site, alternative accommodations (from Lodge and home) are made available for individuals who need to isolate. Individuals who live locally must inform their employer if they return home to isolate so that they can travel safely and are required to follow all public health guidelines and instructions.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, Coastal GasLink and our five prime contractors have been leading the way in implementing industry-best practices, in following the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidance and orders for Industrial Camps and all government requirements. Coastal GasLink and our medical provider, International SOS, have collaborated closely with Northern Health and other agencies every step of the way. We are committed to continuously monitoring the effectiveness of the plans that are in place and make improvements where necessary. Our top priority is the health and safety of our workforce and their families, as well as Indigenous and local communities. To date, virus transmission within Coastal GasLink’s lodges has been minimal and the infection prevention and control measures in place have proven effective.  

Finally, Coastal GasLink has been fully engaged and communicating with local and First Nation leaders with respect to COVID-19 cases.

Enclosed is a letter that was sent this week to a number of First Nations regarding additional measures Coastal GasLink will take during the holiday season to help protect our people and communities.

Further questions should be directed to Northern Health.

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Good Evening [redacted],

At Coastal GasLink, nothing matters more than the health and safety of our workforce, their families and Indigenous and local communities. COVID-19 remains a public health risk across British Columbia and whether at work or home, we all must continue to remain vigilant in adhering to public health guidelines and managing the risk to ourselves and others.

As we head into the holiday season, Coastal GasLink, in collaboration with the Project Prime Contractors and Northern Health, has implemented a COVID-19 Return to Work Project Standard. This standard is reviewed and updated regularly. To ensure our workers and workforce accommodations remain safe following the holidays, there will be a reduced workforce as our construction season winds down. There will be staggered mobilization over the first couple of weeks following the holidays as work phases begin. Therefore, we will not mobilize everyone back on the first day.

Coastal GasLink uses questionnaires, including a health questionnaire, to understand where workers have been prior to mobilization. All workers must be made aware of the conditions they are to return to work under, including additional expectations of them, and how the work environment has changed. If health guidance requires isolation, then workers will follow the requirement.

We continue to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidelines and have extensive Infection Prevention and Control Plans in place at all worksites and lodges. The measures Coastal GasLink and our contractors take to protect workers and the community from COVID-19 exposure are effective and helped us initiate early and preventative action to reduce the spread of the virus.

Working with provincial and local health authorities, the measures we have implemented include:

  • Enhanced pre-screening
  • Increased sanitation
  • Physical distancing
  • Masks
  • On-site screening and daily temperature checks
  • On-site medics and mobile medical clinics
  • COVID-19 swab testing was made available at all workforce accommodations through collaboration with Northern Health

We recognize that Indigenous populations are at greater risk and that the health of the community is paramount. Working with provincial and local health authorities, Coastal GasLink’s contractors and operators have implemented extensive protocols to help prevent and reduce the risk of transmission. Coastal GasLink will notify local indigenous communities if there are positive cases in your territory; however, as directed by Northern Health, to protect the privacy of others who may be directly affected, we are not in a position to provide the name of individuals who test positive. If you would like others in your administration to receive information on cases in your area, please confirm the contact information for those we need to add to the distribution list for your community (i.e. health representative).

In the event of a confirmed case or positive test, Northern Health will undertake a ‘contact assessment’, which includes identification of others who may have been in close or extended contact. Public health staff follows up directly with anyone who is identified as a close contact (direct, face-to-face contact for prolonged period) of a lab confirmed case.

As required in the provincial guidelines, individuals with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 will be promptly relocated to an area separate from others, asked to complete an online self-assessment tool, and will be placed under the supervision of Project Medical Personnel. In all cases where self-isolation has been recommended, workers will be provided the support they require to stay in the lodge unless a higher level of care is needed. Those who choose to travel home to self-isolate or quarantine are required to contact their employer regarding how to travel home in a safe and responsible manner must follow all regional public health advisories regarding travel and self-isolation. The project has extensive Infection Prevention and Control Plans in place and whether at work or at home, any individual who is positive for COVID-19 is required to follow the public health guidelines to help limit community spread.

While the pandemic is evolving, we are confident, based on the measures in place, and the ongoing guidance from health officials and our medical experts, that our work will continue to be undertaken in a manner that protects workers and local communities.

For further information on our COVID-19 protocols, please visit the links below:

Coastal GasLink Website: https://www.coastalgaslink.com/sustainability/safety/

Fact Sheet: https://www.coastalgaslink.com/siteassets/pdfs/about/resources/coastal-gaslink-health--safety-fact-sheet-june-2020.pdf

International SOS video: https://vimeo.com/418103858

Workforce education video: https://vimeo.com/442500470/641f1303dd