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Coronavirus
Travel

Canada meets one of two targets for NWT isolation to loosen


Fully vaccinated NWT residents are a step closer to life without isolation after travel outside the territory. New figures show at least 67 percent of Canada’s adult population is now partially vaccinated against Covid-19.

The NWT’s chief public health officer said last week that for isolation rules to be loosened, Canada as a whole must reach a partial vaccination rate of at least 66 percent, meaning that criterion has now been met.

However, a second criterion requires that Canada as a whole dip to a seven-day average of fewer than 1,000 daily new Covid-19 cases before isolation restrictions to loosen.

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The seven-day average of new cases is currently just over 1,300. It has been dropping by approximately 100 cases per day since early June.

If the trend continues, it’s possible isolation requirements for the NWT could change by next week. That change would do away with the current isolation rules (a minimum of eight days, up to 14 days) for people entering the NWT, in favour of a system where fully vaccinated residents need not isolate at all.

However, progress may not be that swift. The B.1.617.2 variant – now referred to as the Delta variant – is on the rise in Canada, writes Global News, which could increase the number of new cases in the country.

Vaccination numbers on the federal government’s website are updated every Friday with data up to the previous Saturday, which means the 67 percent number is accurate as of June 5. That percentage will be higher now as Canada had administered 25,763,939 doses by June 5, a figure that had risen to by more than three million to 29,258,807 by June 14.

This total number of doses is updated daily but is not broken down by age, so it’s not possible to know how many of these doses were given to people under 18.

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In full: Read the Emerging Wisely update on the GNWT’s website

When isolation rules loosen, people who are partially vaccinated – meaning they have only one dose of a two-shot Covid-19 vaccine – will need to isolate with their household for eight days and receive a negative Covid-19 test on day eight before they can leave isolation.

Unvaccinated people and their households need to isolate for 10 days and then receive a negative Covid-19 test on day 10.

Households will need to follow the isolation requirements for the least-vaccinated member of their household who travelled. That means if parents travel with children aged under 12 – for whom there is so far no approved vaccine – the entire household will need to isolate for 10 days on their return, even if the parents are fully vaccinated.

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