The Northwest Territories’ chief coroner has confirmed the death of an infant in Yellowknife over the past weekend is being investigated.
The NWT’s chief coroner, Cathy Menard, told Cabin Radio by email an investigation was under way. Menard said she “strongly encouraged” that there be no speculation “on any cause, nor [any link] to the current health pandemic situation.”
The child is understood to be from a Nunavut-based family. People travelling back to Nunavut via Yellowknife must self-isolate in the NWT’s capital for 14 days first, along with any accompanying family members, to comply with Nunavut’s orders regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.
The CBC reported the incident involved a father who awoke at the city’s Explorer Hotel, while waiting for that 14-day period to expire, to find his son unconscious. The child reportedly could not be revived at Stanton Territorial Hospital.
Nunavut’s finance minister, George Hickes, said the death had no connection to the coronavirus.
“We are following the same process that is followed for every death that occurs when a person is outside of their own territory, province, or country,” Menard said.
Investigations into sudden or unexpected deaths are common practice – in the NWT, 118 coroners’ investigations were carried out in 2018.
Coroners hold such investigations to identify the deceased, the circumstances of the death, and the ultimate cause of death.