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Second Hunter Valley mine linked to COVID-19

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Another Hunter Valley mine, the second in less than a week, has now been linked to a COVID-19 case.

Hunter Valley Operations, near Singleton, confirmed at the weekend two contractors working at the site’s Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) were deemed infectious from the virus.

Then, Muswellbrook-based MACH Energy Mount Pleasant Operation verified on Tuesday 7 September that one employee – involved on the Rail Loop Project – also tested positive.

A spokesperson said the company immediately enacted its COVID-19 response plan after becoming aware of the potential case, involving a contractor.

“The site continues to follow this protocol, which includes contact tracing and deep cleaning in and around the Rail Loop construction area,” they stated.

“All other operational activities, including mining, processing and train loading, continue as normal.”

MACH Energy and NSW Health are liaising with close contacts who’ll be tested and will have to isolate for 14 days.

“Casual contacts of the one worker will be advised to undergo testing and remain isolated until they receive a negative test result,” the spokesperson said.

“While awaiting test results, we’ll continue to follow the advice of health authorities in implementing appropriate protocols to protect the community and employees.”

It was a similar situation, which occurred at Hunter Valley Operations.

“We immediately enacted our COVID-19 response plan after receiving notification [on Friday evening],” a spokesperson told the Newcastle Weekly on Sunday.

“HVO has worked over the weekend to shut down the CHPP while awaiting test results and will continue to follow the advice of health authorities in implementing appropriate protocols.”

Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) confirmed a risk assessment of the exposure was underway.

Anyone with even the mildest of symptoms is urged to come forward and get tested.

A full list of testing sites can be found at www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing/clinics

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