Cases grow in Inuvik and Tuk as Hay River returns to zero

Last modified: November 9, 2021 at 7:16pm

The NWT reported 16 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, driven almost entirely by the Beaufort Delta communities of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk.

In Tuktoyaktuk, the sudden centre of a new outbreak, the number of cases in the daily report – which counts only those filed by 9am – stood at 15. The territory separately said on Tuesday the latest count in Tuk is 16 active cases.

The hamlet has now entered containment in a bid to control the spread, closing non-essential businesses and limiting gatherings to household members only.


Inuvik added four cases, increasing from 14 to 18 active cases. Yellowknife added one case but dropped from 25 to 23 active cases. One active case remains in Behchokǫ̀.

Overall, the NWT now has 58 active cases of Covid-19, up from 46 on Monday.

Hay River and the Kátł’odeeche First Nation now have no active cases, down from a high of 65 on October 27.

There were no new deaths or hospitalizations reported in the NWT on Tuesday.

How Covid-19 initially reached Tuktoyaktuk, which had previously avoided becoming part of the broader fall NWT outbreak, is still under investigation.


Dr James Talbot, the NWT’s acting deputy chief public health officer, said on Tuesday four Tuktoyaktuk households are now affected and the cases “include children who are in school,” necessitating the school’s closure.

Dr Talbot expects the number of active cases in the community to increase as more testing takes place.

Arlene Jorgensen, chief operating officer for the NWT health authority’s Beaufort Delta region, said the hamlet now had four testing devices, two extra nurses, support staff, and enforcement officers.

Jorgensen estimated 250 to 300 people are contacts or affected by exposure notices to date and need to be tested. All 144 available testing spots were taken on Tuesday, with more being scheduled for Wednesday.


“There are fairly long lists of contacts and we’re working hard to make sure everybody gets their appointment,” Jorgensen said.

Erwin Elias, the hamlet’s mayor, said: “So far, I think that the community has been really responsive, staying home and staying within their bubble. I think the community is well aware of the seriousness.”

Sarah Pruys contributed reporting.