NWT to extend emergencies ‘until situation changes considerably’

A highway patrol mobile command unit at the Enterprise Covid-19 checkpoint in March 2020. Photo: Ron Corey
A highway patrol mobile command unit at a Covid-19 checkpoint in March 2020. Photo: Ron Corey

The Northwest Territories on Wednesday extended both its public health emergency and territory-wide state of emergency, allowing continued use of extraordinary powers during the pandemic.

The public health emergency allows the chief public health officer, Dr Kami Kandola, to issue orders like those restricting travel and banning indoor gatherings.

The state of emergency, which is separate, allows an emergency management team to control various agencies and deploy resources to ensure communities are sufficiently prepared for Covid-19 and remain supplied.

On Wednesday, the NWT government said both had been extended until April 28 at the earliest.



Dr Kandola and other officials were due to brief reporters at 2pm.

“Thus far, the Northwest Territories has only imported cases related to travel with no evidence of community spread,” the NWT government said, adding the continued measures were needed to keep things that way.

“Keeping ahead of the spread is the best way to stay as close to this trajectory as possible, and is one way to limit the time strict measures are required for NWT residents,” the territory’s statement continued.

“Dr Kandola has indicated she will continue to recommend extensions to the public health emergency until the situation has changed considerably across Canada.”

The territorial government said the spread of Covid-19 farther south remains “the biggest risk” to the NWT.

There were five confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the NWT as of Wednesday morning. Two have since been declared recovered, leaving three active.