COVID-19 cases in N.W.T. drop by 1 Friday

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The coronavirus that causes COVID-19, cultured in a lab. Officials said there were 16 active cases in the N.W.T. Friday, one fewer than on Thursday. (NIAID-RML/CP - image credit)
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19, cultured in a lab. Officials said there were 16 active cases in the N.W.T. Friday, one fewer than on Thursday. (NIAID-RML/CP - image credit)

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the Northwest Territories dropped by one on Friday.

The N.W.T is reporting 16 active cases across the territory.

The majority of the cases — 11 of them — are in the Yellowknife area.

There remain four cases in the Beaufort Delta region and one case in Hay River.

Dr. Kami Kandola, the territory's chief public health officer, said in a news conference there hasn't been a case of the Omicron variant in the territory yet. However, she expects that will soon change as the number of Omicron cases rise across Canada and around the world.

New public health order

On Friday, Kandola and Julie Green, the N.W.T.'s health minister, announced a new territory-wide public health order that took effect at noon.

The measures in the order allow, among other things, parents of partially vaccinated kids to avoid self-isolation after travel, and unvaccinated travellers to leave self-isolation after eight days, instead of 10, if they produce a negative test for COVID-19.

There are also new testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers who either work or volunteer with vulnerable populations, or travel to small communities in the territory. They must now get tested on day one and day eight.

"It will allow more freedoms for children who have travelled, while also protecting others in vulnerable settings," Kandola said.

Green acknowledged there's a risk travellers will bring the Omicron variant back with them, "but testing and isolation will assist us with early detection and management."

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