As of April 29, 2021, Rio Tinto BC Works have administered over 1,100 COVID-19 vaccine doses which represent approximately 60 percent of their total eligible workforce.
On March 30th, 2021, immunization programs at local industrial sites were put on pause, however, on April 14th, 2021, Northern Health permitted immunization clinics within industrial sites to re-start and administer vaccines to workers 40 years or older.
Now, any worker that falls into that category who is actively working on-site for or with Rio Tinto is eligible to be vaccinated, including workers assigned to the Kemano powerhouse and T2 project.
“In support of the Government of British Columbia’s province-wide immunization program, […]Rio Tinto BC Works will continue to engage with public health authorities on the potential to support future vaccination efforts,” said a Rio Tinto spokesperson in a press release to the Northern Sentinel.
With help from a medical service provider, Medysis, the Rio Tinto clinics are run by local employees who are volunteering their time and immunizing all eligible workers.
“Thank you to everyone involved in making this important initiative a success, to help support the Government of British Columbia in the fight against COVID-19. We are committed to continuing our work together, to protect the health of our employees, contractors, their families and our local communities,” said Alfonso Bizon, Rio Tinto BC Works general manager.
Existing controls at Rio Tinto BC Works like wearing a mask, social distancing, temperature checks, frequent hand washing, cleaning and sanitizing common touchpoints, and providing employees with additional layers of protection remain in place and are in accordance with Northern Health guidelines.