Inuvik Covid-19 positive test is confirmed, YK still pending

Last modified: October 20, 2020 at 4:56pm

A fresh Covid-19 case in Inuvik has been confirmed, the NWT government said on Tuesday, making it the territory’s sixth to date.

The case was one of three announced as presumptive positives last Friday. That person’s initial positive test has now been confirmed by an Edmonton laboratory.

Results are still pending for two people in Yellowknife also identified as presumptive positives on Friday. Presumptive positives are cases where one positive test has been received but a second, confirmatory test result hasn’t come back.


In a statement, the territory said the Inuvik individual was “recovering safely at home.”

They are the first NWT resident to receive a confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis since April. The territory was one of the few parts of the globe to spend the intervening six months without a single recorded case of the virus.

The NWT government said there was “no risk identified for any communities” along the route the individual took by car from Alberta to Inuvik, “and no further risk identified for the community of Inuvik.”

A contact tracing investigation in Yellowknife for the remaining two presumptive positives is ongoing.

The territory said it was treating those cases as confirmed positives out of an abundance of caution, though those results are still pending lab analysis in Edmonton.


The three presumptive positives announced last week could not be definitively confirmed as they came from the territory’s comparatively new rapid-testing machines. The three were the first positives the machines have identified, and were referred south to Edmonton to be double-checked.

The rapid-testing machines need to be validated – thoroughly tested and approved – before the NWT can have full confidence in positive results they produce. They have already been validated for negative results, having delivered dozens in recent weeks.

One of the two Yellowknife individuals attended the city’s Anytime Fitness gym and visited the RCMP detachment last week, activating the NWT’s first exposure warning for Covid-19.