Positive wastewater sample indicates on undiscovered case in YK: CPHO

COVID-19 testing at the old location in downtown Yellowknife. (Photo by MyTrueNorthNow.com staff.)
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A positive wastewater trace in Yellowknife means there is likely one undiscovered case of COVID-19, according to Dr. Kami Kandola, the Chief Public Health Officer.

However,  Dr. Kandola adds there is not enough information to determine how much risk of exposure there is to the public. She suggests testing results in the coming days will help, but says several samples of Yellowknife’s wastewater collected since April 14 are providing positive traces of the virus, indicating that there could be multiple positive cases in the city.

People who were self-isolating between April 14 and April 17 should get tested for COVID-19, says Kandola, even if they don’t have symptoms.

The recommendation does not apply to high-risk essential workers who have already been tested. 

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People who are self-isolating because someone in their household travelled do not have to get tested, unless they start displaying symptoms.

Kandola said in a statement it is possible there is more than one person with COVID-19 who contributed to the positive result.

Back in December when wastewater traces were detected in Yellowknife, Kandola said hundreds of people should be getting tested for COVID-19. 

Wastewater sampling has been in place for months in the hub communities. It has since expanded, with the territory recently adding a wastewater sampling program in Fort Liard.

The samples that tested positive since April 14 were tested at Taiga lab in Yellowknife. Taiga lab began testing regularly in March. Results are being confirmed at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg later this week.

Residents who need to get tested can book an appointment at the Covid-19 Testing Centre at 108 Archibald Street or book online. Residents who are currently self-isolating in the Chateau Nova isolation centre can go to the fourth floor of the hotel for testing.

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