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

Dive Brief:

  • As numerous as 788 employees have examined beneficial for COVID-19 on the $2.9 billion Enbridge Line 3 pipeline job in Minnesota due to the fact November, in accordance to the knowledge from the state’s office of wellness shared with Development Dive.
  • The Minnesota Department of Health performed an investigation to garner information and facts about an maximize in circumstances in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, that started in January. Wellbeing officials noticed clusters of scenarios in several settings and had issues about compliance with fundamental mitigation suggestions among local community associates.
  • The office tried to mitigate the spread by raising screening availability and opening vaccination clinics for the group. Of the 788 personnel on Enbridge 3 who have tested constructive, three ended up hospitalized and none died.

Dive Perception:

The Line 3 job is changing a 1,097-mile-lengthy crude oil pipeline that operates from Edmonton, Canada, to Remarkable, Wisconsin. Segments of the project in Wisconsin and North Dakota ended up done prior to the 337 miles of function that is underway with the Line 3 substitution in Minnesota, which used about 4,500 persons throughout the winter season surge in situations, in accordance to Al Jazeera.

Calgary, Canada-based mostly Enbridge began project get the job done in northern Minnesota in December of 2020, shortly ahead of a winter surge of COVID-19 circumstances commenced in the region. Environmental and neighborhood activists elevated concerns that the project could heighten coronavirus risks in the communities together the pipeline route. 

Despite the pushback, union leaders lauded the news, saying it would deliver thousands of considerably-essential work to the region.

Companies in Minnesota are accountable for office get in touch with tracing mainly because they are the most outfitted to identify workplace contacts by means of schedules, supervisor observations and online video, the MDH assertion reported. While Enbridge’s protection office shared findings from its contact tracing, the health section said it could not pinpoint the supply of most of the bacterial infections.

“With an infectious illness that spreads by shut get hold of, ongoing community unfold, and a large workforce coming and heading that is made up of men and women from in just Minnesota and from other states, there is no way to tease out the supply of most infections,” the assertion said.

A lot of of the cases had been from roommates and just after-hours social contacts, the assertion said.

“There are a lot of factors at perform, such as Line 3 personnel, other establishments, industries and occupations, community spread, and so forth.,” it go through.

While Enbridge did not answer to Building Dive’s request for comment, Enbridge Govt Vice President and President of Liquid Pipelines Vern Yu said in a push statement late last calendar year that the organization would carry out a stringent COVID-19 management system. All through the spike in situations, Enbridge greater surveillance testing of personnel from biweekly to weekly, the MDH statement said.

On other new vitality projects, Enbridge has instituted COVID-19 testing and screening protocols for workers, like recurring screening and every day well being and temperature screenings, as nicely as essential techniques like sporting masks, observing stringent physical distancing and consistently sanitizing work spots.