COVID-19 enforcement officers investigating 146 new cases, mostly in North Slave

Premier Caroline Cochrane announcing changes to travel restrictions at the Legislative Assembly. (Photo by Bailey Moreton/MyTrueNorthNow.com.)
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ProtectNWT is investigating 164 cases of people potentially not complying with COVID-19 restrictions, with 146 new cases emerging this week, most of them in the North Slave region.

In the past week, there was one new charge issued in the North Slave for providing false information to a Public Health Officer.

ProtectNWT has investigated over 5,000 complaints and reports of people breaking the COVID-19 restrictions, with 900 of those resulting in verbal and written warnings.

There’s been 50 tickets issued in total since the pandemic began, including 48 to people who have failed to follow self-isolation guidelines, earning a fine of $1,725. Most recently, between April 21 and 28, there were three charges issued for failure to self-isolate and one charge for having too many occupants in a residence.

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One ticket was issued for someone providing false information to a Public Health Officer, with a fine of $500 and one ticket to a business, with a fine of $5,175.

MLA Steve Norn, who had a complaint submitted against him to the Legislative Assembly’s Integrity Commission, reportedly broke his self-isolation. As of yet, there has been no report issued by the Integrity Commision investigating the complaint against Norrn

New COVID-19 rules were introduced recently, when the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer made masks mandatory in Yellowknife, Ndilǫ and Dettah, and later in Behchokǫ̀.

When the rule changes were announced, Premier Caroline Cochrane said the GNWT did not have enough enforcement officers to ensure everyone was following the rules.

“Again it’s that we don’t have enough Task Force officers to have one one officer on every person. We are counting on the general public,” she said.

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Cochrane added she expected stores would be turning people away who try to enter without a mask.

“I know nobody likes to be the person to report. However, we’re in a pandemic,” she said. “If you do break the orders on, that is an order. That’s the law.”

“I will be following through with it and saying to everyone, ‘It’s time for people to start abiding by the order, and if not, there will be consequences,’” she added.

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