Minnesota DOH: Nearly 800 workers tested positive for COVID-19 on Enbridge’s Line 3 project

Ruth D. Adamson

UPDATE: July 8, 2021: This tale has been up-to-date to include Enbridge’s comments, which have been erroneously left out from its first publication, while an Enbridge spokesperson did respond to Design Dive prior to deadline.

Enbridge tests personnel on the 1st and seventh working day of work, then conducts bi-weekly checks after that, and involves sporting masks onsite, social distancing and each day temperature checks, spokesperson Juli Kellner instructed Building Dive. The enterprise explained it is also encouraging employees to get vaccinated. 

We have incentivized immunization and are scheduling to convey vaccines to the building web-sites by means of mobile clinics across the 5 building perform zones,” Kellner claimed. The up to date general charge of positive take a look at success in the course of summer months design has been considerably less than .6%, she said.

Dive Short:

  • As quite a few as 788 employees have examined beneficial for COVID-19 on the $2.9 billion Enbridge Line 3 pipeline venture in Minnesota considering the fact that November, according to the information from the state’s division of wellbeing shared with Building Dive.
  • The Minnesota Division of Well being done an investigation to garner info about an maximize in cases in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, that started in January. Wellness officials saw clusters of circumstances in numerous options and experienced concerns about compliance with standard mitigation recommendations amid neighborhood users.
  • The division tried out to mitigate the distribute by rising screening availability and opening vaccination clinics for the neighborhood. Of the 788 personnel on Enbridge 3 who have tested favourable, three were being hospitalized and none died.

Dive Insight:

The Line 3 venture is changing a 1,097-mile-extended crude oil pipeline that operates from Edmonton, Canada, to Outstanding, Wisconsin. Segments of the undertaking in Wisconsin and North Dakota were being accomplished prior to the 337 miles of get the job done that is underway with the Line 3 substitute in Minnesota, which employed about 4,500 folks for the duration of the winter surge in conditions, according to Al Jazeera.

Calgary, Canada-primarily based Enbridge began project function in northern Minnesota in December of 2020, shortly in advance of a winter season surge of COVID-19 scenarios started in the area. Environmental and community activists raised considerations that the job could heighten coronavirus threats in the communities alongside the pipeline route. 

Inspite of the pushback, union leaders lauded the information, indicating it would convey thousands of much-required work to the region.

Companies in Minnesota are liable for workplace speak to tracing mainly because they are the most geared up to detect office contacts by way of schedules, supervisor observations and video, the MDH statement claimed. While Enbridge’s protection business office shared conclusions from its get in touch with tracing, the wellbeing section said it could not pinpoint the source of most of the infections.

“With an infectious ailment that spreads via shut make contact with, ongoing community spread, and a substantial workforce coming and heading that is produced up of people today from inside of Minnesota and from other states, there is no way to tease out the source of most infections,” the statement reported.

Numerous of the instances have been from roommates and soon after-several hours social contacts, the statement claimed.

“There are quite a few factors at play, like Line 3 personnel, other establishments, industries and occupations, local community distribute, etc.,” it read through.

Though Enbridge did not reply to Development Dive’s request for comment, Enbridge Executive Vice President and President of Liquid Pipelines Vern Yu claimed in a press statement late very last 12 months that the business would put into practice a stringent COVID-19 administration strategy. During the spike in scenarios, Enbridge enhanced surveillance screening of staff from biweekly to weekly, the MDH assertion mentioned.

On other latest strength jobs, Enbridge has instituted COVID-19 screening and screening protocols for employees, which includes repeated testing and day by day health and fitness and temperature screenings, as perfectly as expected procedures like putting on masks, observing rigorous physical distancing and often sanitizing function spots.

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