You’re isolating and can’t leave the property – but your dog can

A quick bulletin for Yellowknife dog owners being forced to isolate during the current Covid-19 outbreak: your dog gets a better deal than you.

Dogs can leave the premises if a friend offers to stop by and walk them, a spokesperson for the NWT’s Covid-19 Secretariat confirmed to Cabin Radio on Wednesday.

There are currently more than 1,000 people considered contacts of the cluster, which had 20 confirmed and a further seven probable cases as of Tuesday evening.


Hundreds of students at NJ Macpherson School – where the cluster began – and their families are affected.

The latest isolation advice from the NWT government, published on Tuesday, states:

  • If you have Covid-19, stay in your accommodation and don’t go outside. In a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and tell them you have Covid-19.
  • If you’re a contact, stay in your accommodation. You can go outside but only on your own property. “Treat the situation as if you are contagious,” said the GNWT.

One of the questions we’ve received most frequently is what that means for dogs. Yellowknifers worried that their pets might be forced to languish at home, too, if their owners are isolating.

We asked a Covid-19 Secretariat spokesperson: “If you’re isolating, can someone come walk your dog for you as long as you don’t leave the property?”

They replied: “Yes.”

Phone a friend and give your dog a treat while you’re stuck at home. Just make sure you and the friend don’t come close to each other – you still need to do the human part of isolating.


(If you’re worried about Covid-19 passing to people via your pet, all evidence so far suggests that risk is extremely low, verging on zero. Viruses have a hard time remaining on fur, for a start, which is a tricky surface for them. But if you happen to have Covid-19, maybe give this dog-walking ploy a miss to be safe.)