YK nears 100 active cases, exposure at Fort Simpson funeral

Last modified: September 10, 2021 at 7:54pm

Yellowknife moved to 97 active Covid-19 cases on Friday, Łútsël K’é reported a case, and a Fort Simpson funeral was listed as an exposure site.

Yellowknife’s Friday figure is a 14-case increase on Thursday. There were 21 new cases in the city, where community spread is ongoing, while seven people were reported to have recovered.

Behchokǫ̀, in its second day of a 14-day containment order, moved from 11 to 16 active cases. The one active case in Gamètì has now recovered, the territorial government said in a Friday evening update.


Fort Good Hope improved from 12 to eight active cases, the last active case in Délı̨nę recovered, and Tulita and Norman Wells held steady at five and nine active cases respectively. Officials say they do not expect to renew Norman Wells’ containment order once it expires at the end of Tuesday.

Fort Providence dropped from two active cases to one. Overall, the NWT has 137 active cases as of Friday and 464 cases in total since the most recent outbreak began in early August.

While Fort Simpson has not reported any active cases, there was a surge in demand for Covid-19 testing on Friday following concern over exposure at a funeral on Tuesday.

The office of Dr Kami Kandola, the NWT’s chief public health officer, listed the funeral as an exposure site, warning anyone not fully vaccinated who was in attendance to isolate for 10 days from exposure and book a Covid-19 test. Fully vaccinated attendees should monitor themselves, wear a mask in all public places, and immediately isolate and book a test if symptoms develop.

The number of attendees at the September 7 funeral was not immediately clear.


“There is a high demand for Covid swabs suddenly at the Fort Simpson health centre today,” the NWT’s health authority reported on Facebook on Friday afternoon.

The health authority said it would run a drive-through Covid-19 swabbing clinic outside the health centre’s main entrance from 5pm until 7pm on Friday in a bid to meet that demand.

The village’s Nahanni Inn and Ice Breaker Lounge both closed until further notice, though the Pandaville restaurant remained open for takeout only.

In Łútsël K’é, following the identification of an active case, Chief Darryl Marlowe told the CBC: “We’re putting everything on lockdown right now until we know that the current situation is under control.”


The community’s only school was closed for the day.

Chief Marlowe told the broadcaster the individual who tested positive had recently returned from Yellowknife and was tested after developing symptoms.

The NWT government said an Air Tindi flight from Yellowknife to Łútsël K’é on Wednesday, September 8 was an exposure site. If you were on the flight, monitor for symptoms and wear a mask in public. If symptoms develop, isolate and get a test.

There was one additional hospitalization on Friday. The patient’s condition was not given. So far, 14 hospital admissions have been associated with the ongoing outbreak.

Within Yellowknife, there was no further breakdown from the territory regarding where new cases had arisen. Outbreaks have been separately declared in recent days both at École St Patrick High School and among the city’s homeless population.

St Pat’s said on Friday there were once again one or more cases to which students and staff at the school had been exposed, but gave few specific details and said it would remain open.

The NWT government said its next Covid-19 statistics update was expected on Monday evening next week.

Sarah Sibley contributed reporting.

Correction: September 10, 2021 – 19:53 MT. This article initially stated Fort Providence remained on two active cases of Covid-19. In fact, the community dropped to one active case as of Friday. Our reporting has been amended accordingly.