NWT health officials warn of positive cases of COVID-19

health officials

Health officials in the Northwest Territories announced three new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 on Friday – one in Inuvik and two in Yellowknife.

The cases between the two regions are unrelated, however, the person who travelled within Canada and arrived to the territory by air transmitted COVID-19 to a member of their household.

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Andy Delli-Pizzi told media today the new cases will not spark a change in N.W.T. self-isolation guidelines.

“Preventing household transmission can be difficult because sometimes we need to care for other people in our homes with COVID-19,” Delli-Pizzi said.

Delli-Pizzi recommended for those who cannot self-isolate from other members of family, to have everyone in that household self-isolate.

The presumptive cases also sparked an exposure risk advisory, the first public warning issued since the pandemic began.

Anyone who visited Yellowknife’s Anytime Fitness gym or RCMP detachment public waiting area in the afternoon on Oct. 12 and 13, may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and must isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.

Delli-Pizzi acknowledged that swift action has minimized risk for the spread of the disease in the N.W.T. so far.

“There are some contacts that we’re reaching out to, to provide the advice they need,” he said.

So far the territory has seen five confirmed cases of Covid-19, all of which in the spring with all five people recovering.

Delli-Pizzi noted the individual in Inuvik followed isolation protocol and the test has been sent to a partner lab in Alberta for confirmation with an an estimated response time on the results in by Saturday.

“The presumptive test we received from Inuvik has been thoroughly investigated. There is no exposure risk along the route travelled,” he said.

In Yellowknife, the drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic will have expanded hours over the weekend.

Delli-Pizzi noted that the turn-around times for test results has improved throughout the pandemic.

“Our capacity in the N.W.T. is in the range of hundreds of tests per week at this time. We hope it increases in the coming weeks,” he said.

Video Journalist / Yellowknife

Charlotte joined APTN in January 2017 as a video journalist in Yellowknife, N.W.T.. Before coming to APTN she interned at CTV Lethbridge, earned her BA in feminist research from Western University and her obtained post-graduate in journalism at Humber College.