One Covid-19 case has been confirmed in Fort Liard and there is the possibility more will be identified in the days to come, the NWT government said in an advisory on Saturday.
The confirmed case is related to travel outside the territory, the NWT’s chief public health officer said. Known close contacts of the person are isolating. A rapid response team has been deployed.
Dr Kami Kandola, the chief public health officer, said there was “some likelihood of additional Covid-19 cases being discovered based on what is known.”
While Dr Kandola did not elaborate on the reasons for that assessment, Mike Westwick – a spokesperson for her office – said: “Public health’s initial investigation has indicated that there was enough close contact during the infectious period that we suspect there will be additional transmission.”
Westwick added: “It is important that folks are prepared for that.”
There are currently no exposure advisories in effect.
The rapid response team sent to Fort Liard will collect more information, Kandola said, to better understand the level of public risk.
Fort Liard’s mayor, Hillary Deneron, and other community leaders were due to meet on Saturday afternoon in response to the news.
Residents of Fort Liard were told to avoid gatherings of any size involving people they don’t live with and keep following the usual public health advice regarding masks, isolation, hand-washing and social distancing.
“Public health may issue additional local guidance when more data becomes available. There will be further updates as we learn more,” Kandola said.
The case is the 26th involving an NWT resident since the pandemic began.
The Fort Liard case was, at least, directly attributable to travel. Two more mysterious conundrums face the territory in Yellowknife and Hay River, where unexplained instances of the virus remain under investigation.