Active case numbers rise again in Yellowknife, Behchokǫ̀, Whatì
The NWT government reported 25 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday. The territory now has 220 active cases, an increase of 21 in the past 24 hours.
Yellowknife now has 134 active cases, an increase of six since Wednesday (the capital reported seven new cases and one recovery). Behchokǫ̀ has 38 active cases, an increase of eight, and Whatì has 27, an increase of four.
Those three North Slave communities continue to experience community spread.
There were three new hospitalizations in the past day for a total of 25 since the pandemic began, including 21 in the current outbreak.
There have now been 597 cases since the start of this ongoing outbreak. Of those, 376 have recovered. There has been one associated death.
Other communities with actives cases include Fort Good Hope with five, Łútsël K’é with three, Norman Wells, Hay River (and the Kátł’odeeche First Nation), and Fort Providence each with two, and Inuvik, Fort Resolution, and Fort Liard each with one. There are four cases at work sites, including diamond mines and the Snare Hydro system.
Speaking to Loren McGinnis on CBC North’s Trailbreaker, Chief Public Health Officer Dr Kami Kandola said the next 10 days will determine how public health restrictions in some communities change.
“By next Tuesday, I need to know if the trajectory is going up, down, or not going anywhere, to make a decision whether I need to extend the gathering orders and school closures,” she said, noting all efforts are currently focused on contact tracing and testing to manage the outbreak.
Dr Kandola said NWT residents must realize the current outbreak is not just a problem among what the territory refers to as Yellowknife’s “underhoused” population and associated support staff.
“This is a Yellowknife issue … we all have to wear a mask in public spaces indoors, we all need to monitor our household visits and our gatherings,” she said.
“My sense in Yellowknife is that they are labelling this as a problem outside of themselves, but they have to take the same precautions.”
In the current outbreak, Kandola says around three in 10 infections being reported are among fully immunized people.
“By and large, the vast majority of hospitalizations are the non-fully vaccinated,” she said.
“We’ve had 22 hospitalizations to date since the pandemic, and 18 of them have occurred in the last month alone – including five of the seven [intensive care unit] admissions and our death,” she said on Thursday morning, before Thursday evening’s updated figures were published.
Also on Thursday, the NWT announced a national standardized vaccine record should be available to residents by the end of October. Third doses of Covid-19 vaccines are becoming available for moderately to severely immunocompromised people.