The Northwest Territories’ largest museum closed indefinitely on Monday as stores began offering seniors-only hours amid concern over the coronavirus pandemic.
The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, in Yellowknife, announced it would remain closed to the public “until further notice as a precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of Covid-19 in the Northwest Territories.”
Meanwhile, Yellowknife’s Co-op grocery store asked on Twitter for customers to “allow the first hour of business each day to be reserved for our local seniors.” Canadian Tire made the same request.
On Monday morning, the territory’s health department said 138 coronavirus tests had now been conducted but there remained no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the NWT.
Global authorities believe seniors and those with underlying health conditions to be more at risk from the disease than younger members of the population.
“If you are not a senior please help reduce crowd contact for our seniors by holding off shopping until 9am,” the Co-op requested.
Canadian Tire said the opening hour of each day would be for seniors and immuno-compromised residents – 8:30am till 9:30am Monday to Saturday, 9am till 10am Sunday.
Your Independent Grocer on Yellowknife’s Old Airport Road said it would open from 7am-8am daily for seniors and the immunocompromised, starting Tuesday.
In a news release posted to Facebook, the museum said: “Public access to the exhibits, special events, auditorium rentals, and public and private tours have been discontinued.
“The Museum Café will also be closed during this time.”
Individuals can still gain access to the NWT’s documentary archives by request.
“The Department of Education, Culture, and Employment recognizes the value of our cultural and heritage resources,” the museum’s statement read.
“Staff will continue to ensure the protection and management of museum collections and archival records throughout this temporary public closure.”