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CPHO denies rumours of COVID case in Whatì

Chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola took to Twitter and rejected the rumours that a case of COVID-19 has emerged in NT.

Rumours started circulating on social media that Whatì — the First Nations community in the North Slave region — had a case of COVID-19.

Kandola took to Twitter on Saturday to deny the rumours. She added that NT residents should look for information about confirmed COVID-19 cases on the GNWT’s website.

GNWT became aware of the rumours on Saturday, according to Mike Westwick, COVID-19 communications team leader for the GNWT.

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The territory’s communicable disease team unit reports on all suspect COVID-19 cases and were able to verify the rumours about a case in Whatì were false, said Westwick.

The territory has refuted rumours of COVID-19 cases before, he added.

“We can’t control everything everybody does, but we have urged people from the beginning of the pandemic to be careful, don’t spread misinformation or rumours because it can cause people a lot of undue stress,” said Westwick.

Westwick added NT residents should continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines, including remaining six feet apart and washing hands frequently.

It’s natural to be a bit anxious, but taking these steps is one way to channel that anxiety into productive behaviours to protect you and yours.”

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The rumoured case in Whatì would have been NT’s first case since April. Two COVID-19 cases were confirmed at the Diavik mine, in the North Slave region, back in September and July respectively.

But the cases did not count towards the NT’s totals, rather they counted towards the totals of the provinces where the miners came from — Alberta and Ontario, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidelines.


A previous version of this article said Kandola wrote the Tweet on Monday. She wrote the Tweet on Saturday. The story has been changed to reflect this. We regret the error.

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