The Northwest Territories on Tuesday reported its first hospitalization of an Omicron-variant Covid-19 outbreak that has now reached more than 1,000 active cases.
As of Tuesday, the territory reported 1,072 active Covid-19 cases, an increase of 162 since Monday. The number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began in March 2020 rose from 62 to 63.
There was no increase in the number of intensive care admissions or deaths.
Increasingly, hospitalizations are being viewed as a key metric for a variant that is proving significantly less severe than Delta for many infected people, but which is spreading at a far faster rate than Delta and preceding forms of the virus.
The NWT on Tuesday said it had identified 225 new cases of Covid-19 in the past day alone, an astonishing figure for a territory of 45,000 people, more than 900 of whom already had the virus as the day began.
Sixty-three recoveries were reported since Monday.
Dr Kami Kandola, the NWT’s chief public health officer, and health minister Julie Green are due to provide an update and take questions from reporters at 3:15pm on Wednesday. Cabin Radio will carry the briefing live via Facebook.
Yellowknife had 599 active cases on Tuesday, up from 515 on Monday. The Tłı̨chǫ communities had 176, up from 140. Hay River had 41, up from 36; the Sahtu had 54, up from 24; and Fort Smith had 34, up from 21.
Not all regions reported day-on-day increases. The Beaufort Delta reported 115 active cases, down slightly from 118 on Monday, while the Dehcho communities had 53 active cases, down from 56 a day earlier.
Community-by-community tallies were not available. The territorial government has said it will update community-level detail only once each week, on Mondays.