Minister of Health and Social Services Diane Thom has extended the territory-wide Public Health Emergency under the NWT’s Public Health Act on the advice of Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola. The latest extension runs through August 18th.
The GNWT notes that the Public Health Emergency remains necessary in order to respond decisively to needs for personal protective equipment, isolation space, enforcement, and travel checkpoints which essential to the territory’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The risk to the NWT remains high as there has been a recent increase in cases in southern Canada. With upwards of 700 new self-isolation plans filed a week, we have a significant amount of people joining us to live, work, or study.”
Additional entries to the territory include those exercising traditional harvesting rights and those servicing supply-chains – though with significant additional precautions when they are here. Reintroduction is most likely to occur as a result of travel from locales with community transmission. Self-isolation protocols and monitored travel are the best defence from these cases growing into outbreaks.
Given compliance is never 100 percent, taking precautions like physical distancing and limiting gatherings, and gradually, safely releasing public health restrictions, are prudent measures for preventing outbreaks from getting out-of-control.
The GNWT is reminding everyone that travel within the NWT is restricted upon arrival with limited exceptions. It is an offense to travel within the NWT without an exemption under the Public Health Orders.
Everyone entering the NWT is required to self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith with few exceptions – no matter how long your trip out of the territory is.