The N.W.T. Office of the Chief Public Health Officer declared an outbreak at the Inuvik homeless shelter and at a high school in Hay River on Wednesday, and urged taxi drivers in Yellowknife to get tested for COVID-19.
In a news release, the OCPHO said there are three confirmed cases of people who were at the Inuvik Warming Shelter — at both the Berger Street and the Distributor Street locations — and at the homeless shelter.
It said anyone who was at any of the locations, including clients and workers, since Oct. 6 should contact Inuvik Public Health at 867-777-7246 to ask for isolation advice and to arrange to get tested for COVID-19.
"Public health is actively conducting testing and contact tracing at this time," reads the release.
The OCPHO said that it's working with Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) and the COVID Secretariat to make sure that safe isolation space is available for those who have COVID-19.
According to territorial statistics, Inuvik had one COVID-19 case recently that was resolved over the Thanksgiving weekend. Since the start of the pandemic, the town has had four cases.
Outbreak in Hay River high school
The outbreak declared at the Diamond Jenness Secondary School in Hay River affects students in Grade 10 and 11.
"Students in the impacted classrooms have been contacted by school administration and provided information on the necessary next steps," the release states.
It added that students in the affected grades are required to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible, and get a second test 10 days later.
The OCPHO said it is recommending that vaccinated students continue with in-person learning and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. It said that if symptoms appear, however minor, students should isolate and arrange to get tested.
Unvaccinated students and their close contacts "are required to switch to online learning while monitoring for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19," the statement says, adding that if symptoms appear, people should isolate and arrange to get tested.
Yellowknife taxi drivers
In the same news release, the OCPHO recommends that all cab drivers in Yellowknife get tested for COVID-19.
It said it's aware of confirmed COVID-19 cases among some cab drivers in the city.