A CC-150 Polaris aircraft arrives at the Yellowknife airport carrying Canadian Armed Forces soldiers. Master Corporal Alana Morin/Joint Task Force North
The NWT’s health minister says one person passed away during the evacuation of Yellowknife’s hospital on Friday.
Julie Green said there had been an “expected death” as preparations were being made to transport 39 patients from the hospital to British Columbia on a military flight.
She did not immediately elaborate on the circumstances in which the death had been expected.
“I want to send my personal condolences to his family as they grieve during this difficult time,” Green said at a press conference on Saturday evening, saying no further information would be provided.
The province of BC has set up a toll-free family support line at 1-844-824-2219 to provide information for the families of inpatients from Stanton Territorial Hospital who were moved there. If you are in BC and are an NWT evacuee you can call 604-875-4953 for health services to receive healthcare.
The NWT’s health authority said it had shared details with next of kin for all long-term care residents about where they are now located and how that facility can be contacted.
“Over the next 48 hours, our goal is to do this same notification for those identified as next-of-kin contacts for patients who were evacuated from Stanton Territorial Hospital,” the health authority stated.
“Some patients may ultimately be transferred to Alberta depending on the triage performed by the BC team,” Green added.
The minister said the hospital in Yellowknife would now focus on “sustaining the emergency department services for essential staff, including those fighting the fires and those supporting them, so that they all have access to care.”