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Coronavirus

With dozens isolating, Inuvik seeks extra help for hotel


Authorities in Inuvik are asking people to come forward and help efforts to house dozens of self-isolating people at a hotel as they return to the territory.

Two wings of Inuvik’s Mackenzie Hotel are being used to house almost 50 people in mandatory self-isolation, senior NWT government official Peter Clarkson said online on Sunday.

Clarkson placed an appeal for people to assist as monitors of those wings, saying round-the-clock monitoring of those self-isolating was required.

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The hotel also needs help with laundry services for self-isolating residents, while airport greeters and shuttle drivers are needed to ensure people arriving by air understand what they have to do, and have transport to the hotel.

It’s a little over a week since the territorial government instigated what amounts to a border closure, ordering returning residents to self-isolate, by law, in one of the NWT’s four largest communities.

The Mackenzie Hotel in Inuvik is joined as an isolation shelter by Yellowknife’s Days Inn, Hay River’s Cambridge Suites, and Fort Smith’s Aurora College residence.

Anyone returning to the NWT and heading to a smaller community must first self-isolate for two weeks in one of the above locations. The NWT government foots the bill.

A six-month jail term and $10,000 fine can be imposed on those who disobey.

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Writing online, former Inuvik mayor Clarkson – now the NWT government’s regional director – acknowledged running the hotel as an isolation centre “has meant a lot of work.”

Anyone able to assist is asked to contact Clarkson by email or at (867) 620-1428.

“All personal protection equipment is provided and all precautions are taken to ensure all workers are safe,” said Clarkson.

“By working together as a community, we will get through this.”

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