Thunder Bay – COVID-19 UPDATE – 540 Lac des Iles (LDI) Mine team members have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, significantly driven by a vaccine roll-out plan delivered in partnership with the LDI Health Centre team and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
“Reaching this vaccination milestone at LDI is a significant step in our ongoing efforts against this pandemic. The LDI workers and the mine now have an added layer of protection against COVID-19 and, through that, the broader community will also benefit. Thank you to the team at Impala Canada for their proactive approach and leadership with this roll out. Success against this pandemic is achievable when we work together and this is a great example of our collective efforts in action,” said Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health and CEO, Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
As essential workers who cannot work from home became eligible for vaccination through the provincial rollout, Impala Canada and TBDHU immediately collaborated on a vaccination plan for our LDI Mine workforce.
The plan included a dedicated Thunder Bay-based clinic and a clinic hosted at the mine site over two days. Both clinics are now complete and at least 54% of the total LDI employee and contractor workforce has received their first dose. We continue to work alongside the TBDHU to ensure all individuals that work at LDI will get vaccinated in the near future.
“We understand LDI is one of the first mine sites in Ontario to host a vaccination clinic and we are very proud to play our part to protect against COVID-19. We are grateful the TBDHU recognizes the importance of vaccinating essential workforces, appreciate the confidence they have in us to get the job done and thank them for this partnership on the ground. The COVID-19 pandemic has touched each and every one of us, creating workplace, personal and community challenges we would never have imagined. By working together to get the shot, we are offered a glimmer of hope that an end to this challenging time may be in sight,” says Bryan Wilson, General Manager, LDI Mine.
Education, awareness and celebration around the COVID-19 vaccine are important elements of the LDI program. In addition to frequent communication about immunization facts, safety and how to access a vaccine, we launched a selfie challenge to encourage team members to share pictures of getting the shot. Out of gratitude to everyone for playing their individual roles, LDI team members who get vaccinated are recognized with a $100 gift card.
“Having our members get the opportunity to be vaccinated at the site was game changing, and the LDI Health Centre made it so easy. Those that wanted the vaccine, went into the clinic and got it. Some who were on the fence saw their brothers and sisters having their shots, and after seeing how easy it was, many of them got it too. And now, our members, their families and their communities are safer for it,” adds Sharen Brownson, President of United Steelworkers Local 9422.
Supporting community efforts to get vaccinated and protect against the virus has also been our priority. When the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Vaccination Support Council released a call-to-action to mobilize private sector organizations to offer local support to health units, we eagerly volunteered resources to support the province’s vaccination efforts in the Thunder Bay area.
As the region continues to accelerate vaccinations and manage the third wave of this pandemic on the ground, we have provided $8,000 to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce to support the logistics of their new COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative. This program provides free rapid tests for small – and medium-sized businesses in the community. As an early adopter of workplace screening using rapid COVID-19 tests, we understand the importance of rapid testing to reduce workplace transmission and curb the spread of COVID-19 in the community as we wait for the full completion of vaccination roll out.