Track the NWT’s Covid-19 outbreak

Last modified: October 16, 2021 at 10:12am

Since early August, numbers of Covid-19 cases in the Northwest Territories have increased significantly. This page tracks how the current outbreak is changing over time across NWT communities.

On August 13, the NWT had recorded 179 cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020. By October 15, that number had increased to 1,706 – meaning the territory has identified more than 1,500 cases in two months.

We will update the charts on this page whenever new data comes in. The NWT government usually provides new data each weekday evening, excluding public holidays.


The charts currently include data up to and including Friday, October 15, 2021. We expect the next update on the evening of Monday, October 18.

So far, the outbreak has come in two distinct waves: one in the Sahtu region and one in Yellowknife.

The first wave, encompassing the Sahtu communities, took place in August after a hand games tournament in Fort Good Hope turned into a Delta variant superspreader event.

Fort Good Hope recorded 114 cases in a community of 610 people. Colville Lake recorded 79 cases in a community of 151, meaning more than half of its residents contracted the disease.

By September, the outbreak had moved to the Yellowknife region. The city of 21,300 people had recorded 65 cases in the current outbreak by the end of August, a figure that ballooned to 456 cases by the eve of Thanksgiving.


Yellowknife entered its harshest pandemic restrictions yet on September 30, barring visitors in many households. Schools in the city have been closed since September 14.

Behchokǫ̀, a community of 2,000 people, recorded 147 cases of Covid-19 in September. Nearby Whatì, population 530, recorded 33 cases in the same period. Both communities were placed into containment in early September, closing many businesses and limiting gatherings. Whatì exited containment in mid-October.

The first person to pass away from Covid-19 in the Northwest Territories was Gabriel Kochon, a 92-year-old Elder from Fort Good Hope, on August 23, 2021. The death was reported by the NWT’s chief public health officer on August 24, after which Gabriel’s family publicly identified him as the person concerned. (Read his obituary.)

A second death was reported on September 20, 2021. Three more deaths were reported on September 27, the NWT’s sixth death was reported on September 28, a seventh death was recorded on October 12, and two further deaths on October 13. The people to have passed away in those instances have not yet been publicly identified by their families.

Data regarding vaccination – including vaccination rates by community and the percentage of Covid-19 cases in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people – is reported on the GNWT’s Covid-19 dashboard.