N.W.T. residents will live under the territory's public health emergency for another two weeks, as the government extends it for the 13th time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Minister Julie Green announced the territory-wide extension in a press release Tuesday, as the previous emergency measure expired. This time, the order will run through Sept. 29, according to the news release.
Green extended the measure under the Public Health Act, with the advice of the chief public health officer, states the release.
"With record levels of COVID-19 transmission being reported in neighbouring jurisdictions, the risk to the Northwest Territories is increased," the release states. "The extension of the Public Health Emergency is necessary in order to respond decisively to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic."
Since the last health order, the territory announced a wastewater surveillance program, touted as one of the "most ambitious in the country" as it covers roughly half of the territory's population and all of the isolation centres. The program is meant to provide an early indication of whether COVID-19 is present in the territory.
The public health emergency gives the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer the ability to create and enforce public health orders.
It also allows the government to respond to needs for personal protective equipment, isolation space, enforcement and travel checkpoints during the COVID-19 pandemic.