The Northwest Territories added 38 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, the territory’s quietest day of reporting since September 24, as officials began to talk of the current outbreak being past its peak.
Thursday’s announcement that restrictions in Yellowknife and Behchokǫ̀ would continue for another week came with a hint of optimism that October 22 might mark the lifting of those restrictions and a transition to a new phase governed in part by proof of vaccination.
Though the NWT’s chief public health officer steered clear of the phrase “vaccine passport,” stressing plans for businesses to check customers’ vaccination status on entry were optional, Dr Kami Kandola spent much of a Thursday briefing attempting to look beyond the present outbreak.
Dr Kandola is scheduled to appear in a 30-minute live Cabin Radio interview from 3pm on Friday, to be broadcast via Facebook and on the Cabin Radio website.
On Thursday evening, the NWT government said there were 376 active Covid-19 cases across the territory. While that represents an increase of 20 active cases since Wednesday, the total of 38 new cases is fewer than daily caseloads in the fifties and sixties being reported last week.
One new case came in Fort Good Hope – the second successive day a case has been identified in the Sahtu community – and one new case was identified both in Whatì and Hay River. Fort Good Hope has two active cases, Whatì three, and Hay River 13.
Inuvik, where an outbreak has been declared at a shelter, reported four new cases and now has six active cases.
Behchokǫ̀ reported 14 new cases, moving to 133 active cases overall, an increase of 13. Yellowknife reported 18 new cases, moving to 205 active cases, an increase of one.
A case at the Snare Hydro site reported on Wednesday was deleted from the record on Thursday, suggesting a false positive, though false positives are not generally confirmed by the NWT government.
Fort Simpson, which reported six new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, recorded no new cases on Thursday.
There were no new deaths associated with Covid-19. The NWT has so far reported nine deaths from the disease. Nor were there any new hospitalizations, the first day of reporting in which hospitalizations have not increased since September 29.
There have now been 1,505 cases of Covid-19 in the NWT since early August and 1,684 since the pandemic began.