Investigation ongoing to find source of YK Covid-19 case

Last modified: January 19, 2021 at 4:36pm

Territorial officials are still investigating a Yellowknife Covid-19 case announced last week. The source of the infection remains unidentified.

The case, confirmed on January 15, remains something of a mystery. Officials say it is not related to travel but no contacts have been uncovered that would explain how the person contracted the virus.

“To date, after identifying and testing multiple potential sources, we have not identified a source of infection,” chief public health officer Dr Kami Kandola told reporters on Tuesday.


Despite the enduring puzzle, Dr Kandola said there was no clear evidence of community transmission in Yellowknife and no Covid-19 tests completed in the city since January 15 had come back positive.  

On Monday night, territorial officials said it was “highly likely that the source has passed their communicable period.”

Yellowknife’s wastewater signal remains stable “at trace levels, which is anticipated,” Kandola said. In other words, there has been no spike of the virus in sewage samples.

Earlier this week, public health officials following a lead tested staff and residents at the city’s Aven Manor care home.

No new cases were identified at the facility.


Fort Liard situation virtually unchanged

Fort Liard remains at three confirmed and two probable cases of Covid-19. Confirmation of the two probable cases could come later on Tuesday, Kandola said.

The hamlet is on day three of its containment order, which lasts until January 30 at 10pm but may be extended if deemed necessary.

Some residents had expressed concern that information was not accessible to everyone in the hamlet.


On Tuesday, Premier Caroline Cochrane said an individual from Fort Liard has been hired who speaks the traditional language. Their job will be to go door-to-door to ensure information is conveyed to everyone.

A new information sheet has been created about isolation expectations.

A vaccination team is still scheduled to reach Fort Liard on Thursday and Friday. Territorial medical director Dr AnneMarie Pegg said the team has added an extra day in Fort Liard to its schedule, though which day was not clear.

Residents in isolation will be contacted individually by public health staff to arrange access to the vaccine.

Meanwhile, it’s increasingly likely that Covid-19 traces in Hay River’s sewage were connected to the Fort Liard cluster.

The first Fort Liard patient had been isolating in Hay River before returning to the hamlet.

Since January 14, 189 Covid-19 tests in Hay River have all come back negative.

The most recent sewage samples in Hay River, from January 14, were characterized by Kandola as a fainter, “bare detect” of the virus.