There are now 47 confirmed and three probable cases connected to the Covid-19 outbreak at Yellowknife’s NJ Macpherson School, the NWT government said on Thursday evening.
Thursday’s update is an increase on the 34 confirmed and six probable cases reported on Wednesday. Two active cases remain at Imperial Oil’s Norman Wells site and two at the Ekati diamond mine, meaning there are 51 confirmed and active cases in the territory.
The NWT has now recorded more than 100 confirmed Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began.
So far, nobody involved in the current cluster has required hospital treatment, a spokesperson for the Covid-19 Secretariat said on Thursday.
One new public exposure advisory was issued on Thursday, for the Bella Dance Academy waiting area on May 1 between 9:45am and 10:45am. Anyone who was there at the time is considered a contact, must isolate immediately for 14 days, and must arrange for testing.
Some previously published exposure locations are now being reclassified by the territorial government if isolation or monitoring are no longer considered necessary based on further research.
Those locations are now highlighted in green on the NWT government’s exposure advisory webpage. Four exposure advisories had been downgraded to “no longer considered contacts” as of Thursday evening.
Of the 1,132 Covid-19 tests carried out in the NWT up to May 1, 10 swabs have so far come back positive for the B117 variant or “UK variant.”
On Thursday, the first teenager in the territory received the two-shot Pfizer BioNTech vaccine that was this week approved for use in Canadians aged 12 and up.
Five hundred appointments for teenagers in Yellowknife to get the vaccine were filled by 6pm on Wednesday, but another clinic for youth will be held on Wednesday, May 12.
New vaccination data from the territorial government released on Wednesday showed only gradual progress in vaccinating those adult residents who have not yet received both Moderna shots.
Behchokǫ̀ Chief Clifford Daniels said a pop-up vaccine clinic in Behchokǫ̀ on Thursday had administered all of its approximately 150 vaccines by mid-afternoon.
The Tłıc̨hǫ Government said to Facebook another vaccine clinic for adults will take place on Monday, May 10 from 1pm to 5pm at the local Sportsplex. A vaccine clinic for Behchokǫ̀ youth will take place on Tuesday, May 11.
Some local restaurants in Yellowknife have asked for a two-week lockdown to help stop the transmission of the virus and help businesses stay afloat. On Thursday evening, Premier Caroline Cochrane told Cabin Radio’s Covid Corner a lockdown was not yet required, and “drastic” action would only be needed to combat community spread if it happened.
Parents in Yellowknife have expressed confusion about how to follow this week’s changing public health guidelines, as isolating children try to move to online schooling.