Yellowknife nears 100 active COVID-19 cases

·3 min read

Yellowknife moved to 97 active COVID-19 cases on Friday as the Northwest Territories' month-long outbreak worsened.

The N.W.T. capital's Friday figure is a 14-case increase on Thursday and the city's highest one-day figure since the pandemic began.

There were 21 new cases in the city, where community spread is ongoing, while seven people were reported to have recovered.

The nearby community of Behchokǫ̀, in its second day of a 14-day containment order banning most gatherings and closing businesses, moved from 11 to 16 active cases.

In the Sahtu region of the N.W.T. to the north, where the outbreak began, the community of Fort Good Hope improved from 12 to eight active cases, The last active case in nearby Délı̨nę recovered, while fellow Sahtu communities Tulita and Norman Wells held steady at five and nine active cases respectively.

Overall, the N.W.T. has 137 active cases as of Friday and 464 cases in total since the most recent outbreak began in early August.

In the territory's Dehcho region, there was a surge in deman for COVID-19 testing in the village of Fort Simpson following concern over exposure at a funeral on Tuesday.

The office of Dr. Kami Kandola, the N.W.T.'s chief public health officer, listed the funeral as an exposure site on Friday, warning anyone not fully vaccinated who was in attendance to isolate for 10 days and book a COVID-19 test.

Fully vaccinated attendees should monitor themselves, wear a mask in all public places, and immediately isolate and book a test if symptoms develop.

The number of attendees at the September 7 funeral was not immediately clear.

"There is a high demand for COVID swabs suddenly at the Fort Simpson health centre today," the N.W.T.'s health authority reported on Facebook on Friday afternoon.

The health authority ran a drive-through COVID-19 swabbing clinic outside the health centre's main entrance on Friday evening in a bid to meet that demand.

To the east, in Łútsël K'é, one active case was confirmed on Friday. Chief Darryl Marlowe told the CBC: "We're putting everything on lockdown right now until we know that the current situation is under control."

The community's only school was closed for the day.

Chief Marlowe told the broadcaster the individual who tested positive had recently returned from Yellowknife and was tested after developing symptoms.

The N.W.T. government said an Air Tindi flight from Yellowknife to Łútsël K'é on Wednesday, September 8 was an exposure site. If you were on the flight, monitor for symptoms and wear a mask in public. If symptoms develop, isolate and get a test.

There was one additional hospitalization in the N.W.T. on Friday. The patient's condition was not given. So far, 14 hospital admissions in the territory have been associated with the ongoing outbreak.

The N.W.T. government said its next COVID-19 statistics update was expected on Monday evening next week.

Sarah Sibley contributed reporting.

Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio

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