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Coronavirus

NWT active cases tick up as reopening plans emerge for some


Some NWT communities announced plans to resume a semblance of normality from next week as the territory’s active Covid-19 case count ticked back up to 1,300.

Wednesday’s figure represented an increase of 48 active cases since Tuesday. There were 138 new cases reported across the territory, 90 recoveries, one new hospitalization, and one new intensive care admission.

Schools in Yellowknife confirmed they intend to reopen to in-person learning on Monday, January 24, following the chief public health officer’s announcement on Tuesday that some communities were passing the peak of the Omicron-variant wave.

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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.

The territorial government on Wednesday told staff in those communities that they will “return to their designated worksites” on January 24. Fort Smith and Inuvik, where community spread is taking place and caseloads are increasing, will continue to work and study from home for the time being.

Regionally, Yellowknife moved from 690 to 707 active cases. The Tłı̨chǫ moved from 186 to 203, the Beaufort Delta from 116 to 134, and Hay River from 59 to 70.

The Sahtu decreased from 80 to 73 active cases while Fort Smith increased from 56 to 59.

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The Dehcho reported 54 active cases, a decrease of 11.

In Fort Providence, the publicly available Dehcho figure has been questioned as community leaders have been reading out significantly higher totals on local radio each day, quoting statistics supplied by the local health authority.

In an email to staff, the chief operating officer of the health authority’s Dehcho region said figures circulated internally were unofficial and could include false positives and presumptive cases. Numbers reported publicly by the chief public health officer – which are lower – only count cases “once all information has been verified,” the email stated.

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