Fort Providence will upgrade a checkstop at the community’s entrance and restrict travel in response to recent cases of Covid-19 in Yellowknife.
Addressing residents in a community radio broadcast on Friday, Deh Gáh Got’îê Chief Joachim Bonnetrouge said measures would last “for the next two or three days” as a response to what he termed the “Covid alert coming out of Yellowknife.”
The city has identified two Covid-19 cases this week. Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh MLA Steve Norn says he is one and a family member is the other.
However, the NWT government says an outbreak is not yet taking place. No cases beyond the two related to Norn had been identified as of 4pm on Friday.
Nevertheless, Bonnetrouge said Fort Providence would take precautions.
Those include a round-the-clock checkstop throughout the weekend – on Facebook, a post suggested visitors could be turned away – alongside a request for residents to avoid non-essential travel to Yellowknife.
Residents returning from Yellowknife are asked by the First Nation to complete a voluntary three-day isolation at home in Fort Providence, Bonnetrouge said.
“Our community has always come together to support each other during challenging times,” he said. “I acknowledge the people for keeping watch, being vigilant and keeping our community safe and healthy during these unusual times.”
Bonnetrouge said an update would follow early next week, once the community could develop a “better assessment” of what was happening in Yellowknife.
The changes are not understood to affect access to the Big River gas station on the highway outside the community.
Łútsël K’é took some steps restricting travel earlier in the week and upgraded them on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the community said on Facebook that movement in and out of Łútsël K’é would be restricted to essential travel only and non-community members were “not to travel unless providing essential services.”
By Thursday, that had become a ban on travel to Yellowknife by air or snowmobile until further notice. The CBC reported the community’s school would close for two weeks as a precautionary measure.