The NWT on Tuesday said temporary restrictions designed to combat an Omicron-variant wave of Covid-19 would be extended by at least eight days.
Measures that reduce the size of household gatherings, limit mingling in bars, and suspend some “high-risk indoor activities” will now last until at least the end of January 30.
The territory’s chief public health officer, Dr Kami Kandola, said the NWT needed more time for the number of Covid-19 cases to decrease. There were more than 1,200 active cases as of Tuesday, with around 200 new cases being reported daily.
In January alone, the NWT is on pace to more than double its total number of Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began.
“According to modelling, the chief public health officer expects cases to peak in the territory in the next week,” the Covid-19 Secretariat said in a news release.
Extending the restrictions means all households remain limited to five guests, to a maximum of 10 people in the home at a time. That change earlier in January removed a previous exemption that allowed up to 25 people if all were fully vaccinated.
High-risk indoor activities like dancing, singing, hand games, and contact sports remain suspended, as are indoor winter sports. Bars and lounges must continue to allow a maximum of six people per table with no mingling.
Meanwhile, the chief public health officer said Inuvik and Fort Smith were “seeing significant increases in cases as well as community transmission.”
Residents in those communities are told to avoid non-essential travel, work from home if possible, and study from home.
However, similar recommendations for other NWT communities will end on January 24 as Covid-19 case numbers are believed to be peaking or decreasing.
Recommendations to work and study from home and avoid non-essential travel will be lifted next week for Aklavik, Behchokǫ̀, Délı̨nę, Fort Providence, Hay River, Whatì, Yellowknife, Ndilǫ, and Dettah.