COVID-19 outbreak declared at Norman Wells long-term care facility

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The Town of Norman Wells in 2017. The Sahtú Dene Nechá Kǫ́ Long Term Care Facility has been closed to visitors since Sunday due to community transmission in the Sahtu region, says the Northwest Territories' chief public health officer.  (The Town of Norman Wells - image credit)
The Town of Norman Wells in 2017. The Sahtú Dene Nechá Kǫ́ Long Term Care Facility has been closed to visitors since Sunday due to community transmission in the Sahtu region, says the Northwest Territories' chief public health officer. (The Town of Norman Wells - image credit)

The Northwest Territories chief public health officer has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the the Sahtú Dene Nechá Kǫ́ ̨ Long Term Care Facility in Norman Wells.

An outbreak is declared in a long-term care facility when one person who lives or works there gets the virus, Dr. Kami Kandola said in a news release on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, there were two confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to the Norman Wells long-term care centre. The facility opened in 2018 and includes 18 bedrooms for residents.

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority has put protective measures in place at long-term care facilities, including continuous masking of all staff and visitors, vaccination, visitor screening questionnaires and limits on the number of visitors, says the release.

The Sahtú Dene Nechá Kǫ́ facility has been closed to visitors since Sunday "because of community transmission in the region."

That was the day a containment order was issued for Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake amid confirmed COVID-19 cases in both communities.

Kandola's office and the N.W.T. health authority initiated more outbreak response measures on Tuesday, including site-wide testing for staff and residents, and enhanced cleaning, says the release.

As of Tuesday evening, there were 73 active COVID-19 cases in N.W.T., with 56 of those in the Sahtu region and 70 of the 73 cases connected to the Sahtu outbreak.

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