As Sahtu cases decline, number of outbreaks in Yellowknife increases


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Yellowknife recorded 14 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday as the city – now subject to new, but old assembly restrictions – squarely became the center of the month-long outbreak in the NWT.

There have been 413 cases since the outbreak began during a hand-playing tournament in Fort Good Hope in early August. Of these, 110 remained active on Wednesday.

Seventy-three of those active cases are in Yellowknife, an increase of nine cases on Tuesday as some cases have recovered but others have been added.

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In the Sahtu, on the other hand, the number of active cases rose from 46 on Tuesday to 33 on Wednesday. It was only in Tulita, which fell from six to eight active cases, that this number increased. Tulita duly extended its local state of emergency for a week until September 15.

Fort Good Hope, which recorded 112 cases of Covid-19 in the past month, has now fallen to 17 active cases. There are none in Colville Lake, three in Délı̨nę and five in Norman Wells.

Three other communities in the NWT have active cases: two in Fort Providence and one in Gamètì and one in Behchokǫ̀.

Hospitalizations remained stable at 12, with no new intensive care admissions.

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With cases in Yellowknife now at the root of the outbreak, rallies in the city – and in neighboring communities of Ndilǫ, Dettah and Behchokǫ̀ – revert to the same restrictions residents suffered at the start of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 .

From 5 p.m. Wednesday until at least the end of September 22, residents of these communities cannot have more than five guests in their home, up to a maximum of 10 people in the household. Indoor public gatherings are limited to 25 and outdoor gatherings to 50.

In a statement Wednesday evening, Chief Public Health Officer Dr Kami Kandola said all non-essential workers in these communities should work from home for the next two weeks whenever possible. GNWT staff will start doing this on Thursday, Dr Kandola said.

As demand increases in Yellowknife, testing clinic hours are extended on September 9, 10, 11 and 12 (visit the health authority’s website for details).

Meanwhile, updated vaccination data suggests that August’s peak in Sahtu cases is having some impact on vaccination rates in the region.

Colville Lake has now at least partially immunized 72 percent of its adult residents, roughly on par with some other communities in the NWT and exceeding the likes of Behchokǫ̀ (66%) and Wekweètì (68%).

However, the community still has a full adult vaccination rate of 38 percent, the lowest in the territory.

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