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NWT CPHO denounces travellers ignoring travel order

On March 27th Northern News Services published an article centered around Mike harrison, a traveller who had just arrived into the NWT from Fort Nelson through Fort St. John, Alberta and then up north toward Highway 1 to Hay River.

The statement refereed to the incident as “a brazen lack of consideration for public health by an individual crossing the NWT boundary”

The statement dictates Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola’s literal response to the incident;

“When Mike Harrison chose to ignore this order, he decided not to do his part. He chose to prioritize his own personal comfort over the safety of our territory. And he chose to go on to embolden others to ignore our medical direction by touting his act in the media.”

NWT CPHO Dr. Kami Kandola

Dr Kandola says Mr. Harrison returned from southern British Columbia and through Alberta – two epicentres of this pandemic in Canada. He fits the profile of a risky returning resident – the exact kind for which the CPHO instituted these orders.

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She then said if he became ill with COVID-19 he’d caught down south after returning to his homestead, hundreds of kilometres away from a hospital and off-grid. It could have cost an avoidable Medevac trip, or cause him to unknowingly spread the virus with mild symptoms if he went to town in Fort Simpson, where there’s less robust medical services.

Dr Kandola says there is no denying there are inconveniences we’re all now facing. But pandemics are more than inconvenient!

COVID 19 is an extraordinary challenge that we need to make sacrifices to overcome. And that means playing on the same team as the thousands of Northwest Territories residents who are doing the right thing – protecting our elders, our families, our loved ones, and our communities by doing their part.

The statement ends with the assertions that this matter will “needles to say” be investigated.

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