Public health emergency extended again in Canada’s Northwest Territories

Health Minister Diane Thom announced Thursday that the government is extending the territory-wide public health emergency again. (Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada)
The N.W.T. government has extended its public health emergency again, meaning that residents can expect to be living under this emergency measure for at least two more weeks.

Health Minister Diane Thom decided to extend this territory-wide measure under the Public Health Act, with the advice of the chief public health officer, states a government news release dated for Wednesday but sent Thursday.

The public health emergency gives the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer the ability to create and enforce public health orders.

This is the ninth time it has been extended since the beginning of the pandemic.

The government last announced it was renewing the public health emergency on July 7. A government spokesperson said at the time it was set to expire on July 21.

Thursday’s extension announcement comes days late, and this is not the first time. On March 24, the N.W.T. government declared the territory’s first state of emergency but failed to inform the public until three days later.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic is not over. In the case of some jurisdictions in Canada, we have seen concerning surges in cases as reopening plans continue.” Statement of the NWT government in a news release

The government continues to state that it’s prepared to “respond quickly” to new cases or outbreaks. The release also reminds residents that travel within the territory is restricted, with limited exceptions.

According to data released by the government Wednesday, the territory has issued six fines in recent weeks to people who violated self-isolation and travel restrictions put in place during the pandemic. All six people were ticketed $1,725, each.

Earlier this month, the territorial government decided to end its other emergency measure — the state of emergency — for the first time since COVID-19 emergency measures were enacted in the territory.

The Nunavut government also announced Thursday that it will extend its public health emergency into August.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canadians get hefty fines for breaking public health orders in Northwest Territories, CBC News

Finland: Russian tourists eager to book holidays in Finland despite border closure, Yle News

Greenland: Greenland extends COVID-19 entry requirements until July 20, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Iceland revises COVID-19 border screening rules for citizens, residents, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norwegian Arctic wilderness tourism hit particularly hard by coronavirus, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: The city that builds Russia’s nuclear submarines now has more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden’s top epidemiologist admits he got COVID-19 strategy wrong, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska Highway travellers might be in for rough ride this summer, CBC News

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