The NWT reported a drop of 14 active Covid-19 cases on Tuesday even as 189 new infections were confirmed, illustrating the scale of the Omicron wave and the complexity of the statistical picture.
Increasingly, raw numbers of new and active cases do little to clarify the territory’s situation other than making clear that the healthcare system – and testing infrastructure – remain under significant strain.
While 189 new cases were reported on Tuesday, there were also 203 recoveries, mammoth one-day figures for a territory that reported just five cases in the first six months of the pandemic.
As a result, the active case count dropped from 1,266 to 1,252.
The number of hospitalizations increased by one. There have been eight NWT hospital admissions since Omicron arrived and 70 since the pandemic started in March 2020.
Intensive care admissions were unchanged, as were deaths. The territory’s 13th death related to Covid-19 was recorded on Monday.
While more than 500 new cases have been reported in the NWT since last Friday, the likelihood remains that this undercounts the true number of cases.
Canadian military modelling last week estimated – using the number of reported cases, the number of tests, and what we know about the Omicron variant’s behaviour – that a quarter of the territory’s population could have had Covid-19 at the time. The model remains a projection only, but health officials have long acknowledged testing cannot account for every case, particularly with a fast-spreading variant and limited testing capacity.
Yellowknife dropped from 700 to 690 active cases on Tuesday, the Tłı̨chǫ from 205 to 186, and the Sahtu from 84 to 80.
The Dehcho remained on 65 active cases, Hay River dropped by one to 59, and Fort Smith added three to reach 56.
The Beaufort Delta moved from 99 active cases to 116.
At the present rate, the NWT is on course to report its 5,000th Covid-19 case by the end of the week, having only reached the 4,000 mark on Monday.
Put another way, the NWT’s case count for the entire pandemic has almost doubled since the start of January.