Contractor who visited Sarnia Shell site tests positive for COVID-19

Shell Canada Sarnia site. (Photo by Google Maps)

Shell Canada has confirmed that a contractor who visited the Sarnia Manufacturing Centre earlier this month, later tested positive for COVID-19.

“I can confirm that we were notified late yesterday [Monday] that a contractor visiting the Sarnia Manufacturing Centre from March 11 to March 13, from out of province and not local to the area, has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19,” company Media Manager Tara Lemay said in an email to BlackburnNews.com, on Tuesday. “Shell Sarnia was notified by the contractor company of this case. We do not have confirmation that this individual had COVID-19 when they were at our site, and this individual was not symptomatic during their time at the site. The case is under investigation by Ontario Health and they are best placed to provide comment on this matter.”

Lemay said that based on the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the company has taken all necessary actions to keep employees safe, including notifying those who may have worked with the individual and asking them to self-monitor for symptoms.

She added that because the individual was not symptomatic at the site, the PHAC risk assessment is low to no risk with no monitoring or action required. Lemay said they asked their Sarnia employees to self-monitor out of caution.

Lemay said “while protecting the privacy of individuals, we will communicate to our employees and to the community should any Shell Sarnia employee be confirmed to have COVID-19. As of today, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst Shell Canada employees.”

As of Tuesday afternoon Lambton Public Health was still not reporting any confirmed cases locally, but again urged residents to assume the virus is circulating in the community and to follow personal hygiene, social distancing, and self-isolation instructions.

The health unit said Tuesday that an estimated 40 tests had been processed and returned with negative results, but about 60 additional tests were still pending lab results.