The NWT’s chief public health officer says there are now 14 confirmed and six probable cases of Covid-19 related to an outbreak at NJ Macpherson School in Yellowknife. More than 30 new exposure notices were issued.
In a news release on Monday afternoon, the territorial government said more than 1,000 people have now been identified as close contacts of the initial NJ Macpherson cases.
Of the exposure advisories, 20 involve dates and locations where attendees are considered close contacts and required to isolate immediately for 14 days and arrange for Covid-19 testing. They are shown below.
After publication of that list, Stanley Boxing and Fitness sent an email to patrons seeking to clarify its exposure warning. The gym said the adult class from 9am till 10am on May 1 was not affected, but the kids’ kickboxing class that morning did have a positive case in attendance.
Caitlin Cleveland, the Kam Lake MLA, said after Monday evening’s announcement that she was now isolating as a close contact.
“For the last 14 months, I have been the one on errands and grocery stops as others have isolated and this is a very different feeling,” she wrote on Facebook.
There are a further 14 notices considered less serious in nature, below. Those affected are not considered close contacts. They are required to self-monitor only and call public health to arrange for testing if they develop symptoms.
The NWT government had already closed all schools in Yellowknife, Dettah and Ndilǫ after six confirmed and 10 probable cases of Covid-19 were identified in the new NJ Macpherson cluster on the weekend. Masks were made mandatory in all indoor public spaces in the city.
On Monday evening, the GNWT said the Tłıc̨hǫ Community Services Agency had now closed two schools in Behchokǫ̀, made masks mandatory, and cancelled organized activities like youth sports groups in the community.
That’s because students and staff from Behchokǫ̀ attended group events in Yellowknife over the weekend, including a multi-school soccer tournament that has been listed among the exposure notices.
Dr Kami Kandola said she is not declaring a community-wide outbreak in Yellowknife as her office is still investigating transmission chains.
“All of the confirmed and probable cases identified to date are connected to one large cluster, linked by time, location and common exposures,” the news release states.
The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer recommends suspending all non-essential travel in and out of Yellowknife, Dettah, Ndilǫ, and Behchokǫ̀ until further notice. Dr Kandola’s office is also recommending keeping gatherings small, getting vaccinated, and working from home if possible.