Two cases of Covid-19 in Yellowknife have just been confirmed by the Northwest Territories government, bringing the territory’s total number of cases to date up to eight.
Three presumptive positive cases were announced last Friday, with two in the capital and one in Inuvik.
The case in Inuvik was confirmed positive on Tuesday. The government confirmed the Yellowknife cases on Wednesday afternoon.
Tests in all three cases were processed at a laboratory in Edmonton. A case of Covid-19 is confirmed after two tests both declare positive results.
The two individuals who have tested positive in Yellowknife are isolating “appropriately” at home, the government said.
In the Legislative Assembly, Health and Social Services Minister Julie Green said a contact tracing investigation is ongoing in Yellowknife.
Last Friday, public health officials issued an exposure warning for specific times at Anytime Fitness in Yellowknife and the RCMP detachment’s public waiting area.
- Monday, October 12 between 3pm and 4:30pm at Anytime Fitness
- Tuesday, October 13 between 11am and 11:30am at the RCMP detachment public waiting area
The exposure notice remains active for another five days. Anyone who was at these locations during these times must self-isolate for 14 days immediately and contact the Yellowknife Public Health Unit at 867-767-9120.
The government said public health has followed up with more than 50 potential contacts identified by Anytime Fitness.
“Upon investigation by public health, a number of the individuals on the list were not present at the gym at the date and time identified in the exposure notification,” read a statement from the territorial government.
“More than 20 have been provided the appropriate isolation advice and verification of the list continues.”
The territory said it believes there may still be an outstanding potential contact from the RCMP public waiting area.
Despite this warning, the territory said there is “not currently indication of further transmission.” It noted most people develop symptoms of Covid-19 within the first week and it has been nine days since the exposure period at Anytime Fitness.
“The chances are very high that we would have had patients presenting with symptoms already, which is a promising sign,” it stated in a press release.
Gahcho Kué case now considered false positive
A new presumptive positive case was identified at the Gahcho Kué diamond mine on Wednesday morning, but the territory later said a subsequent, second test on the same individual had come back negative.
The individual was self-isolating along with 18 others with whom they had travelled to the mine.
The person who tested positive is a Yellowknife resident. The territory said their immediate household members and close contacts were quickly informed to isolate.
“The individual is asymptomatic, feeling well and in the dedicated quarantine wing established at the mine site,” De Beers, which operates the mine, said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.
Shortly after 6:30pm, the NWT government said a second test on the individual came back negative.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Gahcho Kué mine is completing an additional round of testing on the group who arrived together.”
Correction: October 21, 2020 – 15:47 MT. A previous version of this article stated a worker at the Gahcho Kué mine initially tested negative for Covid-19. In fact, 18 potential contacts have tested negative.