NWT confirms Inuvik Covid-19 case, the territory’s 10th

Last modified: October 28, 2020 at 4:08pm

The territorial government said a Covid-19 presumptive positive in Inuvik had now been confirmed, becoming the territory’s 10th recorded case of the virus.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr Kami Kandola confirmed the case to reporters as she opened a conference call on Wednesday afternoon. It is the second recent case in Inuvik, and the same case that was the subject of an awkward retraction from the territory on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, the territory had said the case was a confirmed positive before retracting that statement. On Tuesday evening, the territory instead said the test was a presumptive positive awaiting confirmation.


That confirmation had since arrived, Kandola said on Wednesday, adding she had only recently received that update.

She said “household transmission” was the source, linking the case to the other recent Covid-19 positive in Inuvik.

That case involved someone driving back to Inuvik from Alberta.

There is no risk to the public, Kandola’s office said on Tuesday, as the individual with the latest positive test had been “self-isolating appropriately since returning from travel.”

They are being monitored by public health officials and are “doing fine,” according to the territorial government. Contact tracing has been completed.


What happened with the retracted advisory?

An advisory earlier on Tuesday had been retracted by the territorial government just 20 minutes after it was issued.

Just after 2:20pm, the territory announced a confirmed case in Inuvik. By 2:45pm, the same office had asked reporters to “disregard and delete” that advisory.

On Tuesday evening, Kandola’s office offered an explanation.

The first advisory was “distributed after being prepared in anticipation of an imminent confirmatory result, and an internal communication breakdown resulted in it being approved for distribution,” a spokesperson wrote at the time.


“We are committed to doing right by residents of the Northwest Territories by providing timely, clear, and accurate communications. In this instance, we failed. We deeply apologize for the confusion this has caused.

“Like any error, we will take it as an opportunity to learn. Our office is already taking steps to tighten up communication protocols to ensure this kind of error does not happen again.”

Meaghan Brackenbury contributed reporting.