The Northwest Territories reached a new vaccination milestone on Monday as the territorial government reported 75 percent of adults are now fully vaccinated.
This vaccination target is one of three goals that must be met before the NWT can open up to leisure travel. A Canada-wide resurgence in Covid-19 case numbers, however, means it’s unlikely any further reopening will take place in the near future.
The next stage of the NWT’s Emerging Wisely reopening plan, once reached, will allow anyone to enter the territory for any reason and lets fully vaccinated travellers do so without isolating.
Here are the targets that have to be met before that happens:
- Across Canada, at least 66 percent of people aged 18 or over must be fully vaccinated. Federal data indicates this target was met by early August. The country has now fully vaccinated 73 percent of its population aged 12 and up.
- Across Canada, the seven-day average for the daily count of new Covid-19 cases must be under 1,000. As of Monday night, the country was averaging more than 2,500 cases a day in the fourth wave of Covid-19.
- In the NWT, 75 percent of people aged 18 or over must be fully vaccinated.
The NWT’s chief public health officer predicted in June that the ability for anyone to enter the territory would be granted by late summer or early fall.
But given the increasing case numbers across Canada – driven by the Delta varient of Covid-19 – it’s difficult to predict when the fourth wave will subside and people will be able to travel freely in the NWT again.
In theory, the current Covid-19 outbreak in the territory does not in itself affect Emerging Wisely. The reopening criteria do not include targets related to numbers of active cases inside the territory. However, it’s unlikely the NWT would choose to lift restrictions while seeking emergency assistance for its largest outbreak to date, even if case numbers were to suddenly drop elsewhere in Canada.
Four NWT communities hit 80 percent
As adults hit the 75-percent mark, the NWT reported 74 percent of the population aged 12 and up is now fully vaccinated.
Four communities have fully vaccinated more than 80 percent of their residents aged 12 or over: Kakisa, Sachs Harbour, Ulukhaktok, and Fort McPherson.
Colville Lake, which is currently under a containment order due to a Covid-19 outbreak, has the lowest percentage of residents fully vaccinated. Just 29 percent of people 12 and older are fully vaccinated.
As of Monday, 74 people in the community of around 150 were infected with Covid-19.