Mandatory masking will continue until schools close for summer: CPHO

Dr. AnneMarie Pegg speaking at the Legislative Assembly. (Photo by Bailey Moreton/MyTrueNorthNow.com.)
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Masks will be mandatory in indoor spaces in Yellowknife, Dettah, Ndilǫ and Behchokǫ̀ until schools are closed for the summer.

That is because elementary school students represent a large chunk of the population that remains unvaccinated, posing a larger risk of spreading COVID-19, according to NWT’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola.

Mandatory masks were first introduced in indoor spaces in Yellowknife, Dettah and Ndilǫ on May 2. Masks have been mandatory in municipal buildings in a number of communities since December.

Despite keeping mandatory mask rules in place, Kandola says the N.J. Macpherson outbreak appears to have slowed down, with a little over two new infections a day being reported in the past few days, when previously the numbers had been much higher.

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There is also no evidence of community transmission in Yellowknife.

All the infections involving N.J Macpherson are either students or close contacts — like household members — of students. The long list of exposure risks the Office of the CPHO has updated over the past week has not produced any COVID-19 cases — meaning there’s no community transmission.

Kandola added 60 per cent of 12 to 17 year-olds in Yellowknife, Dettah, Ndilǫ and Behchokǫ̀ will have received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after the last round of clinics is finished. 

Dr. AnneMarie Pegg, NWT’s territorial medical director says a new shipment of Pfizer vaccines is coming, but does not have a confirmed date or information about how many vaccines the NWT will receive.

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