New COVID-19 cases confirmed in YK, school closures in Behchokǫ̀

Illustration of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2, the cause of COVID-19. (Supplied by Alissa Eckert.)
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Fourteen cases, 34 exposure risks and more than 1000 contacts have been reported stemming from the outbreak at N.J. Macpherson.

The Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency has closed two schools in Behchokǫ̀, due to concerns that Behchokǫ̀ residents may have been in Yellowknife attending a soccer tournament over the weekend. 

Mandatory masking and the cancellation of all organized activities and sports for those under the age of 18 has also been implemented.

Similar restrictions are already in place in Yellowknife, Dettah and Ndilǫ after the declaration of an outbreak at N.J. Macpherson early Sunday morning.

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A number of exposure risks have also been identified. The exposure risks are split into two categories. Locations where people will have been close contacts of someone with COVID-19 if they were there during a specified time have been identified as ”Close Contacts” locations. 

The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) says anyone who was at one of these locations should self isolate.

“Close contacts” COVID-19 exposure risks are in place at all these spots. (Photo by Bailey Moreton/MyTrueNorthNow.com.)

Other locations have been identified as areas where there could be “possible contacts.” If this applies to an individual, OCPHO is advising you to monitor for symptoms and only self-isolate and head for testing if you start to detect symptoms. 

The Quiznos on Old Airport Road was already identified as one of these locations last week.

“Possible contacts” exposure risks are in place at these locations. (Photo by Bailey Moreton/MyTrueNorthNow.com.)

Dr. Kami Kandola, NWT’s Chief Public Health Officer, says people who have not been contacted should not book an appointment to get tested for COVID-19 and may be turned away if they go to a testing centre.

Despite the new cases, the CPHO is not declaring a community wide outbreak at this time, because all the current cases are connected to one large cluster.

The OCPHO is also advising any non-essential travel into and out of Yellowknife, Behchokǫ̀, Dettah and Ndilǫ be suspended or deferred where possible.

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