UPDATE: Presumptive Inuvik COVID-19 case now confirmed

A photo of Inuvik from the air. (Photo submitted by GNWT.)
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Update 3:15 p.m. October 28 – The COVID-19 case in Inuvik which was a presumptive positive has been confirmed, according to the Chief Public Health Officer.

Dr. Kami Kandola confirmed on Wednesday that secondary testing done at Stanton Hospital in Yellowknife had returned a positive result, meaning the Inuvik case is the tenth in the territory and the fifth in the past few weeks.

 

A new presumptive positive case of COVID-19 has been reported in Inuvik, a few hours after the case had been mistakenly confirmed by the GNWT.

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In a statement released just after 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday the Inuvik case was reported confirmed, but the statement was then removed from the Department of Health and Social Services’ website 20 minutes later.

In the statement, the GNWT said they “deeply apologize for the error.”

“It was distributed after being prepared in anticipation of an imminent confirmatory result, and an internal communication breakdown resulted in it being approved for distribution,” read the statement.

The case is connected to the earlier Inuvik COVID-19 case. This case is therefore related to travel, according to the statement from the Department of Health and Social Services.

The statement adds, there is no risk to the public as the individual has been self-isolating appropriately since returning from travel.

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The individual is being monitored by public health officials and is doing fine, the statement adds.

This would have been the tenth COVID-19 case in the territory if it had been confirmed and the fifth to have been reported in the past few weeks, after the Northwest Territories had gone almost six months without a case of COVID-19.

Results are now being confirmed at the Stanton Hospital laboratory, as the GNWT’s rapid testing machines have now been validated, and can confirm COVID-19 test results without being sent to a laboratory in Alberta.

That is why the most recently confirmed case at Gahcho Kué mine were confirmed without being deemed a presumptive positive first, according to Mike Westwick, spokesperson for the GNWT’s response to COVID-19.

This presumptive positive COVID-19 case out of Inuvik will also be tested at the laboratory in Stanton Hospital to confirm the results.

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