Fort Knox

The Fort Knox gold mine is seen from an airplane in May 2017. Sam Friedman / News-Miner

Fort Knox gold mine isn’t taking any chances with its workers’ health during the novel coronavius outbreak, according to Anna Atchison, external affairs manager.

“First and foremost, we immediately started communicating the symptoms and what to do if someone thought they may be infected,” she said.

“We are using several different communications methods. We have included our many contractors and suppliers too.”

The mine implemented the systems and procedures recommended by the CDC, such as increasing cleaning, social distancing and limiting the number of people in any area. Those who can are working remotely and those returning from travel outside of Alaska are self-isolating for 14 days.

“People are taking it all very seriously and understand that we all have a part in keeping everyone healthy,” Atchison said. “We are also making sure people are remembering the mental and physical health programs we have in place — many of which are on line and over the phone.”

That includes services such as Teledoc, she said.

The mine has also changed its leave and pay policies to accommodate COVID-19 related matters that are outside an employee’s control, including an acknowledgment that schools and daycares are closed.

“In general, we are messaging to our folks that it is important to stay close through alternative measures available to us in this modern age,” Atchison said. “Our crews often feel like family, and they are finding other ways to support one another as well.”