Students who attend schools of the Yellowknife Education District No. 1 (YK1) and the Yellowknife Catholic Schools will be going back virtually Monday.
In letters sent to parents and guardians Friday, the superintendents of both school boards said they made the decision based on the advice provided by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer.
In a statement issued late Thursday evening, the OCPHO recommended that schools in Aklavik, Behchokǫ̀, Fort Providence, Hay River (including K'atl'odeeche First Nation), Whatì, and Yellowknife, including Ndilǫ and Dettah, shift to remote learning.
The OCPHO said each of those communities were either experiencing "or showing evidence of imminent community transmission."
In the statement, the chief public health officer said there were 170 new cases identified in the territory in the past 24 hours. The majority of the cases in the territory are in Yellowknife.
The return to school from the holiday break had already been postponed to Jan. 10 because of COVID-19 risks.
YK1 indicated in its letter that "updates with specific information for your child and remote learning will come from their school." It added its move to remote learning also applies to K'alemi Dene School and Kaw Tay Whee School.
The Catholic board said additional information about its schools' learning plans will be shared with parents and guardians by their children's teachers Friday.
Both school boards said they were in regular contact with the Department of Education, Culture and Employment "to ensure that all necessary steps are followed to keep students and staff safe and to provide additional resources, such as technology, to support the continuity of learning for students."