The NWT government on Tuesday reported a new Covid-19 case in Yellowknife involving a recently returned traveller. The public was not at risk, the GNWT said.
The person was said to be isolating and doing well. In a short statement, the office of Chief Public Health Officer Dr Kami Kandola said the lack of risk to the public “demonstrates that the current public health measures are working to identify cases early and minimize the risk of further spread.”
While fully vaccinated NWT residents are now able in most instances to leave the territory without isolating on their return, partly or non-vaccinated residents are still subject to periods of isolation.
The vaccination status of the latest individual to contract Covid-19 was not given.
“We expect an increase in Covid-19 introductions into the NWT as case numbers increase in the rest of Canada, public health measures are relaxed in many places, and travel volume into the NWT increases,” Dr Kandola said in a news release.
“Evidence is showing that the Delta variant of Covid-19 is becoming more common in Canada and that Covid-19 is shifting to a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated.’ Those who are not protected are at higher risk. Getting vaccinated is the best protection for yourself and your community.”
The NWT has gradually loosened travel restrictions in recent months, and has forecast it will further ease its measures – essentially removing all travel barriers for any fully vaccinated Canadian – in late summer or early fall.
However, one of the key markers used by the NWT government in its pandemic reopening plan is now worsening again. The seven-day moving average of new Covid-19 cases across Canada is at the point of shifting above 1,000, the threshold Kandola set below which the territory can further reopen when other targets are also met.
The moving average’s return above 1,000 is not expected to result in the immediate rollback of recent changes. Kandola has previously said any worsening of the situation would be closely analyzed before a decision is made to change the NWT’s guidance.
The increase in cases across Canada may, though, serve to pause the NWT’s progress toward clearing its final reopening hurdles.