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

Nellie R. Ortiz

Table of Contents

UPDATE: July 8, 2021: This story has been up-to-date to include things like Enbridge’s reviews, which were erroneously left out from its initial publication, even though an Enbridge spokesperson did react to Design Dive just before deadline.

Enbridge checks workers on the 1st and seventh day of work, then conducts bi-weekly assessments just after that, and needs carrying masks onsite, social distancing and every day temperature checks, spokesperson Juli Kellner informed Design Dive. The corporation explained it is also encouraging personnel to get vaccinated. 

We have incentivized immunization and are organizing to convey vaccines to the design web pages as a result of cell clinics throughout the five building function zones,” Kellner stated. The updated over-all charge of optimistic take a look at success in the course of summer months building has been considerably less than .6%, she said.

Dive Transient:

  • As several as 788 employees have tested good for COVID-19 on the $2.9 billion Enbridge Line 3 pipeline venture in Minnesota since November, in accordance to the info from the state’s section of overall health shared with Construction Dive.
  • The Minnesota Division of Wellness performed an investigation to garner data about an boost in situations in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, that began in January. Health officers saw clusters of scenarios in various options and had worries about compliance with fundamental mitigation suggestions amid neighborhood customers.
  • The section attempted to mitigate the distribute by increasing tests availability and opening vaccination clinics for the local community. Of the 788 workers on Enbridge 3 who have tested positive, a few ended up hospitalized and none died.

Dive Insight:

The Line 3 undertaking is replacing a 1,097-mile-long crude oil pipeline that operates from Edmonton, Canada, to Superior, Wisconsin. Segments of the undertaking in Wisconsin and North Dakota were being completed prior to the 337 miles of perform that is underway with the Line 3 substitute in Minnesota, which used about 4,500 men and women during the wintertime surge in scenarios, according to Al Jazeera.

Calgary, Canada-based mostly Enbridge commenced venture get the job done in northern Minnesota in December of 2020, soon before a winter season surge of COVID-19 cases commenced in the location. Environmental and community activists elevated fears that the task could heighten coronavirus hazards in the communities along the pipeline route. 

Even with the pushback, union leaders lauded the news, indicating it would convey hundreds of substantially-wanted positions to the area.

Employers in Minnesota are liable for office get hold of tracing mainly because they are the most geared up to discover place of work contacts through schedules, supervisor observations and video clip, the MDH statement stated. Although Enbridge’s security place of work shared findings from its get hold of tracing, the wellness department claimed it could not pinpoint the resource of most of the infections.

“With an infectious sickness that spreads through shut get hold of, ongoing neighborhood spread, and a substantial workforce coming and going that is manufactured up of people today from in Minnesota and from other states, there is no way to tease out the supply of most bacterial infections,” the assertion reported.

A lot of of the instances had been from roommates and following-several hours social contacts, the assertion said.

“There are quite a few aspects at play, such as Line 3 workers, other establishments, industries and occupations, group unfold, etcetera.,” it browse.

When Enbridge did not answer to Development Dive’s request for remark, Enbridge Executive Vice President and President of Liquid Pipelines Vern Yu said in a press statement late final calendar year that the business would apply a strict COVID-19 administration system. During the spike in scenarios, Enbridge elevated surveillance tests of staff from biweekly to weekly, the MDH statement claimed.

On other modern strength projects, Enbridge has instituted COVID-19 tests and screening protocols for personnel, together with repeated tests and daily overall health and temperature screenings, as very well as essential techniques like carrying masks, observing strict actual physical distancing and consistently sanitizing get the job done areas.

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