Exposure alert issued as Covid-19 case confirmed in Yellowknife

Yellowknife's Summit housing development, top centre, is seen in May 2020
Yellowknife is seen from the air in May 2020. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

An exposure risk warning was issued for a Yellowknife restaurant as the NWT government confirmed a case of Covid-19 in the city.

Anyone in Taste of Saigon between 3pm and 4:30pm on Monday, April 19, should isolate at home for the next 14 days and call the city’s public health unit on (867) 767-9120, the territorial government said late on Wednesday.

Anyone else in the household should also isolate for 14 days if you can’t safely isolate away from them.

The case was identified following an earlier call for recently returned travellers to get tested for Covid-19 after sewage samples suggested at least one instance of the virus was going undetected in Yellowknife.



The person involved, who had been travelling elsewhere in Canada, is now isolating and doing well, the territory said. The date of their return was not given. The GNWT is awaiting results from a southern lab to determine if the case involves a variant of concern.

“The local public health unit is conducting follow-up and any identified contacts will be notified and provided support. Public health has followed up with the individual to ensure this person is supported,” the territory said in a statement.

“An undetected infection of Covid-19 uncovered in less than 48 hours is a positive development as the territory works to ensure risk of community transmission is contained in the City of Yellowknife.

“While this new infection is travel-related, more information from diagnostic testing and additional wastewater analysis is needed to confidently assess whether there remains a risk of community transmission.”

The territory restated the urgency with which it wants people with any symptoms of Covid-19 to come forward for a test. Expanded testing hours are already in place this week following the earlier news that the virus had appeared in the city’s sewage.

News of a confirmed case in Yellowknife came on the day that the GNWT began allowing fully vaccinated people to shorten their isolation periods in the territory in some circumstances. Remote tour operators are also being allowed to reopen to tourists once they meet certain safety criteria, primarily by demonstrating tourists will not spend any significant length of time in NWT communities or mingling with residents.