NWT moves to 220 active Covid-19 cases, issues Behchokǫ̀ warning

Last modified: August 23, 2021 at 8:28pm

The NWT reported a total of 220 active Covid-19 cases on Monday evening and warned an unexpected trace of the virus responsible had been detected in Behchokǫ̀’s sewage.

If you were in “any region of NWT with Covid-19 activity” between August 10 and 23, and subsequently in Behchokǫ̀ between August 20 and 23, you should book a Covid-19 test, the territory said.

Monday’s figure of 220 cases was the first published by the NWT since Friday, when the territory had reported 198 cases, of which 176 were in the Sahtu.


The Sahtu figure increased to 190 on Monday, of which 89 were in Fort Good Hope, 74 in Colville Lake (approaching half of the community’s population), 18 in Norman Wells, and nine in Délı̨nę.

There are now 27 cases in Yellowknife, one in Inuvik, one in Hay River, and one in Fort Providence.

In a separate advisory, the territory said sewage samples from Behchokǫ̀ suggested at least one person with Covid-19 had been in the community between August 20 and 23.

“This signal is unexpected,” said the office of Chief Public Health Officer Dr Kami Kandola, adding the territory had previously been unaware of any Covid-19 cases in the area.

Anyone in Behchokǫ̀ with symptoms of Covid-19, or who is affected by current exposure warnings, is told to isolate immediately and arrange a Covid-19 test.


Everyone currently in Behchokǫ̀ is advised to wear a mask in indoor public spaces, limit indoor gatherings to their own household if possible, stay at home if sick, and get vaccinated if eligible.

Meanwhile, in an update on its operations, the territorial government said it was working to get more personal protective equipment to several communities.

Enforcement officers had “addressed complaints of people breaking isolation over the weekend,” the territory said, without referring to the number or location of those incidents.

One enforcement officer is in Délı̨nę and two are in Fort Good Hope, according to the GNWT, while one member of the compliance team is in Fort Providence working with RCMP “on enforcing isolation requirements.”


Earlier on Monday, the NWT’s health minister confirmed eight Canadian Rangers are now helping in the Sahtu. A federal epidemiologist has arrived and the Canadian Red Cross has sent five nurses who are now being trained.

Monday’s only new exposure notification related to the Alberta Indigenous Games. The Games’ opening ceremony on August 12 and seven sports venues over the ensuing week are considered exposure sites. NWT residents who attended those venues or the ceremony are advised to self-monitor, wear a mask in public, and isolate if symptoms develop.

CKLB reported the Sahtu Secretariat had postponed its annual meeting, scheduled for Colville Lake from September 7-9.