Coronavirus

Hospital admissions unchanged as NWT reaches 1,356 active cases


The Northwest Territories on Friday reported 1,356 active cases of Covid-19, an increase of 82 cases since Thursday. Hospitalizations remained unchanged.

The territory reported 164 new cases and 82 recoveries since Thursday. There have been almost 1,000 new cases recorded in the past week, the NWT said on its online dashboard.

Yellowknife moved from 722 active cases to 769, while the Tłı̨chǫ figure increased from 214 cases to 243.

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The Beaufort Delta dropped from 122 to 117 active cases, while the Sahtu increased from 64 to 72.

Hay River moved from 50 to 55 active cases, the Dehcho decreased from 62 to 53, and Fort Smith increased from 40 to 47.

Despite the territory announcing it would scale back exposure notifications, there were 13 fresh notifications on Friday, including several flights and a number of locations in Fort Smith.

Meanwhile, military modelling – based on the expected ratio between diagnosed Covid-19 cases and asymptomatic cases that are never tested, plus data regarding incubation periods and infection periods – suggested more than a quarter of the territory’s residents may have had Covid-19 as of Friday.

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The model is a mathematical estimate only. Earlier this week, the Canadian Armed Forces told the Winnipeg Free Press that percentage does not reflect case numbers but “estimates based on existing epidemiological information.”

Separately, the NWT government clarified that its hospitalization figure includes only people admitted to hospital when Covid-19 is “the cause of their admission.”

There has been concern in other jurisdictions that hospitalization statistics may include people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the course of receiving treatment for unrelated conditions, potentially distorting the pandemic’s direct impact.

“For example, if you went to the hospital with a shortness of breath and were admitted and subsequently were diagnosed with pneumonia and Covid, that hospitalization counts on the dashboard,” Richard Makohoniuk, a Covid-19 Secretariat spokesperson, said by email.

“If you went to the hospital due to a broken leg and you were swabbed before admittance and tested positive, that would not be a hospitalization on the dashboard.

“Final example, if you had no symptoms and were admitted for labour and delivery but tested positive on routine screening, that would not be a hospitalization on the dashboard.”

The number of hospitalizations shown on the dashboard stands at 64, an increase of two since the Omicron-variant wave of Covid-19 began in the NWT.

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