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GNWT remains vigilant as COVID-19 variant strain detected in UK

The GNWT says residents have to “stay vigilant” and that it has ramped up testing as a variant strain of the COVID-19 virus has been detected in the UK.

Travellers from the UK have been banned for an additional two weeks from entering Canada by the federal government, after an initial travel ban had been implemented on December 20.

Dr. Kami Kandola, NWT’s Chief Public Health Office said the GNWT has ramped up testing for UK travellers who were isolating. These tests did not result in any positive COVID-19 cases being reported.

“With the detection of the more infectious UK variant sprain in three provinces in Canada, we need to be even more vigilant,” Kandola said during a press conference. “This means doing our part to stick to healthy habits — the ones that we know work to stop COVID-19 in its tracks.”

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Catching the variant is down to the whole of Canada closely sequencing COVID-19 test samples to detect if the COVID-19 variant strain spreads, Kandola added.

Cases of the COVID-19 variant have been reported in BC, Alberta and Ontario, connected to UK travel.

The COVID-19 variant spreads quicker than the original virus, and has led to an uptick in cases in the UK.
Currently, the NWT has no active cases of COVID-19, and the territory’s case total remains at 24, despite a non-resident worker recently reporting positive for COVID-19 in Yellowknife and at the Ekati Diamond mine.

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