No new cases of COVID-19 detected in N.W.T. Tuesday

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Two probable cases of COVID-19 in Fort Liard announced Monday have been confirmed, the N.W.T.'s chief public health officer announced in a press release Tuesday evening, but no others have been detected despite increased testing. No further cases have been detected in Yellowknife since a case with no known source was announced last week. "As time passes, if nothing is detected, confidence will grow that widespread community transmission did not occur and that this was a single locally acquired case with no identified source," said Dr. Kami Kandola of the Yellowknife case.

No cases were found in Hay River. Kandola said there is a "high probability" the positive wastewater signal in that community last week was related to the cluster in Fort Liard.

That means the territory currently has six confirmed cases of COVID-19, one active case in Yellowknife and five in Fort Liard.

Fifty contacts are currently isolating in that community to prevent further spread.

Low risk to 'contacts of contacts'

Kandola said people in Fort Liard who have not been contacted by public health and asked to isolate are not considered close contacts, even if they've been in contact with someone who has been asked to isolate. A "contact of a contact" is considered low risk, she said. "With that low risk, there's no reason to be fearful — or to disrupt your life for 14 days."

In other words, "If you haven't been contacted by public health and told you're a contact, if you haven't spent time with someone who has COVID-19, and you haven't been in a location at a date and time there was an exposure notification, you have no reason to be worried," Kandola said. However, anyone who still has concerns is asked to call public health. In all, about 100 tests have been completed in Fort Liard. Forty-one of those were completed Monday and verified at Stanton Hospital in Yellowknife. All were negative.

Wastewater testing continues in Yellowknife and Hay River, as well as Inuvik, Fort Smith and Fort Simpson.