Yellowknife, Ndilǫ, Dettah, and Behchokǫ̀ mandatory indoor masking rules lift on Monday at 5pm MT, the territory’s chief public health officer confirmed.
Dr Kami Kandola said she was rescinding an order that requires mask-wearing in indoor public spaces as school for students in the North Slave communities has now finished. Classes in Behchokǫ̀ ended on Monday.
The mask-wearing order has been in effect since May 3, when schools in the affected communities closed due to an outbreak of Covid-19 cases at Yellowknife’s NJ Macpherson School. It was meant to help reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading during the outbreak.
While the outbreak was declared over on June 14, mandatory masking indoors “was kept in place an additional two weeks as an extra measure until the school year was over to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep our communities healthy and safe,” Dr Kandola’s office said in a news release.
At a news conference earlier in June when she announced the territory’s updated Emerging Wisely reopening plan, Kandola said she wouldn’t be reinstating the order in future and people would have to make their own risk assessments regarding the wearing of masks indoors.
However, her office said, Kandola still recommends wearing a mask to protect yourself and others when a business or service requires it; in indoor crowded spaces; in poorly ventilated indoor spaces; in indoor spaces where “there is shouting, singing, playing music, or exercise;” and outdoors when it’s not possible to maintain a two-metre physical distance.