Coronavirus

NWT extends public health emergency for 12th time


The NWT government has, as expected, extended its Covid-19 public health emergency for a 12th time. The emergency will remain in place until September 15 at the earliest.

In truth, the emergency is likely to last for the foreseeable future. Declaring a public health emergency gives the chief public health officer the powers being used to restrict travel and impose self-isolation in the NWT.

Those restrictions are seen as key to controlling and limiting the pandemic’s impact on the territory and protecting smaller communities, where healthcare facilities are not as well-equipped to cope with any outbreak.

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“As western Canada’s rate of infection reaches levels not seen since the beginning of the pandemic, our territory must remain vigilant to protect our communities, and our health system,” read a statement from the NWT government confirming the emergency would be extended.

The territory’s legislation demands that the emergency be either extended or cancelled every two weeks, but it can be renewed indefinitely.

“The territory is working hard through every avenue to address the challenge of rapid testing supplies,” the statement continued, referring to a shortage of some components required for rapid testing – a pillar of the NWT’s pandemic recovery plan – to function.

“Solving this problem will provide new options to identify and respond quickly to cases of Covid-19 when they occur in the Northwest Territories,” the territory said.

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