N.W.T.'s active COVID case count reaches 160, majority in Yellowknife

·2 min read
A photo of Yellowknife on Dec. 18, 2021. The number of active cases in the N.W.T. reached 160 on New Year's Eve.  (Luke Carroll/ CBC - image credit)
A photo of Yellowknife on Dec. 18, 2021. The number of active cases in the N.W.T. reached 160 on New Year's Eve. (Luke Carroll/ CBC - image credit)

On New Year's Eve the N.W.T. government reported the number of active COVID-19 cases in the territory reached 160.

According to the territorial government's COVID dashboard, the number of cases increased by 42 in a 24-hour period.

Of the active cases, there are 132 in Yellowknife, four in the Beaufort Delta, three in the Dehcho, eight in Fort Smith, One in Hay River, two in the Sahtu and 10 in the Tłı̨chǫ.

Territorial Health Minister Julie Green tweeted about the latest numbers on Dec. 31, but said "we are not back to square one" as 76 per cent of the territory is fully vaccinated.

According to Dec. 18 data on the dashboard, 76 per cent of residents five and older are fully vaccinated, but this number drops to 71 per cent when accounting for the entire population.

Several regions are well below this, including the Tłı̨chǫ, which has only 65 per cent of the total population fully vaccinated and the Beaufort Delta with only 69 per cent.

In a news release issued on Dec. 31, the territorial government announced it was changing testing guidelines, so those deemed low risk of serious infection would only need to report their rapid test and not need to followup with a lab test.

Rapid tests are available at the airport, testing centre and through DetectNWT, but travelers arriving into the N.W.T. by car are not able to access them.

Some early studies have found the Omicron variant, which public health said is behind the rising cases in the N.W.T., to be milder and that booster shots offer significant protection.

The N.W.T. has been offering booster shots to all residents over the age of 18 since late October, well before other regions in Canada began offering them to the general public.

Public health issued more exposure notifications including one for the Monkey Tree pub on Dec. 28 and 29 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There were also more flight exposures on Dec. 31, including Northwestern Air flight 607 from Edmonton to Fort Smith and Westjet flight 3359 from Calgary to Yellowknife.

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