Canada’s Northwest Territories adds 7 new COVID-19 cases, issues containment order for Norman Wells

A file photo of Norman Wells, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The community posted a temperature of 11.1 C — smashing a previous record-high for December of 5.7 C, set in 1985. (Eilis Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)

1 new case reported in Fort Smith, none in Behchokǫ̀

Only seven new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed since Monday in the N.W.T., but a 10-day containment order has been issued for Norman Wells, effective at 8 a.m. Wednesday, to prevent further spread of the virus.

The information was released in a bulletin from the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer Tuesday. Fort Smith now has one active case, bringing the total number of communities with active cases to seven.

Fewer than five people have been hospitalized.

Sahtu region hardest hit

The territory now has 225 active cases of COVID-19 among residents, most in the Sahtu region: 89 in Fort Good Hope, 74 in Colville Lake, 9 in Délı̨nę and 22 in Norman Wells.

There are also 27 cases in Yellowknife, three in Fort Providence, one in Inuvik and one in Hay River/K’atlodeeche First Nation.

No cases were reported connected to Behchokǫ̀, though officials reported a positive signal for COVID-19 in that community on Monday.

The news follows a day in which the K’atlodeeche First Nation declared a state of emergency citing local exposure, new exposure notices were issued in Hay River, and the territory reported its first death from COVID-19.

Norman Wells enters containment

The containment order in Norman Wells will be similar to the one issued for Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake on Aug. 15.

That means:

  • No gatherings in homes or outdoors.
  • Non-essential businesses and facilities must close.
  • Essential businesses may open with fewer than 10 people indoors at once.
  • Offices may remain open with fewer than 10 people, and physical distancing.
  • Daycares may remain open for children of essential workers.
  • Masks must be worn in public indoor spaces.

The chief public health officer, Dr. Kami Kandola, asked people who’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and who require care to call ahead before visiting a health centre.

Those who have symptoms should isolate at home and call to arrange testing.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: How the Canadian Rangers are responding to COVID-19 in the Sahtu region of Canada’s Northwest Territories, CBC News

Finland: Berry firms moved harvesters from Lapland to East Finland even if exposed to, infected with COVID-19, Yle News

Greenland: Five new COVID-19 cases in Greenland’s capital city of Nuuk, Eye on the Arctic

CBC News

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