New isolation warning for Yellowknife’s sobering centre

Compounding the problems caused by the closure of Yellowknife’s downtown sobering centre, anyone there between Thursday and Saturday is now being told to isolate immediately.

Tracking down, informing, and caring for those affected may be a challenge. The sobering centre on 50 Street closed indefinitely on Saturday as it ran out of staff to safely operate, as the neighbouring day shelter had two days earlier.

Too many staff are either sick with Covid-19 or isolating as an outbreak grows among Yellowknife residents without homes.


Services for Yellowknife’s most vulnerable people now at their most stretched in years, with uncertainty about where intoxicated people can safely sleep at night. The NWT’s health authority says it is urgently trying to find a solution but doesn’t have the resources to launch its own emergency shelter.

On Sunday, the territory’s chief public health officer said anyone at the sobering centre from September 9 to September 11 must isolate immediately and arrange a Covid-19 test.

That instruction applies regardless of vaccination status, Sunday’s advisory stated.

“If you cannot isolate safely away from others, please contact the Covid Secretariat at (867) 446-4863 to arrange safe isolation,” the advisory continued.

There were 97 active cases of Covid-19 as of Friday evening. The next full update is expected on Monday night.