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Coronavirus

Coroner confirms additional Covid-19 death, stats remain unchanged

Last modified: February 18, 2022 at 12:57pm


More than a week after a top public health official announced an additional Covid-19 death in the Northwest Territories – making headlines – the official number of Covid-19 deaths remains unchanged.

Dr André Corriveau, the territory’s deputy chief public health officer, told reporters on February 9 the NWT government was made aware of another death that morning which was related to Covid-19. He said of particular concern was that the individual was one of three people who had recently died at home from the disease.

The Covid-19 dashboard, however – where the NWT government publicly reports Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, recoveries and deaths – states Covid-19 deaths have not changed since the 17th death was confirmed on February 3.

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The Covid-19 Secretariat previously said before a death is added to that list, it must be verified through an internal process, which usually takes one to two days.

On Thursday morning, while the number of deaths on the dashboard still remained unchanged, Dawn Ostream, a spokesperson for the Covid-19 Secretariat, told Cabin Radio the NWT Coroner Service had determined the death was due to Covid-19.

Ostream on Friday afternoon confirmed the death was the 18th Covid-19 death in the territory. She said official reporting of the death was delayed to allow the NWT Coroner Service to complete its investigation.

NWT chief coroner Garth Eggenberger confirmed on Thursday the death announced by Dr Corriveau had been deemed a Covid-19 death.

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Eggenberger expanded on Corriveau’s concern that three people who recently died of Covid-19 had not sought medical attention.

The chief coroner said, in many cases, it is viral pneumonia, a complication resulting from Covid-19, which leads to death. He said when people feel tightness in their chest and shortness of breath they should seek medical attention to help with recovery.

Corriveau previously said people who are at higher risk for severe outcomes of Covid-19, like seniors and those with compromised immune systems, should especially consult health professionals early if they are concerned about symptoms.

According to the latest data from the NWT government, there are currently 692 active cases of Covid-19 across the territory, a significant drop from the 913 reported on Monday night. Between Monday and Thursday night, there were 339 new infections, 560 resolved cases, four additional hospitalizations, and one new intensive care admission.

Numbers on the Covid-19 dashboard were not updated on Tuesday nor Wednesday due to “an issue that was preventing entered data from being displayed,” according to the Covid-19 Secretariat.

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