By Sunday, the vast majority of contacts will be able to leave isolation, according to NWT’s Chief Public Health Officer.
The N.J. Macpherson outbreak has seen almost 2,000 contacts identified and forced to isolate.
Now, most of those people will be allowed to leave isolation in time for schools to reopen on Monday. But different rules apply depending on the situation.
Household members who live with contacts of people exposed to COVID-19 will be able to leave their house without receiving a negative COVID-19 test, once their 14-day isolation period is done. Contacts of contacts don’t have to get tested before they leave isolation.
Families who live with confirmed cases of COVID-19 stemming from the outbreak — most of the confirmed cases are children — will have to receive a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed to leave isolation.
Some families who live with more than one individual who has been confirmed as a case of COVID-19 may have to isolate longer than 14 days. That’s because individuals with COVID-19 are infectious up until the tenth day they have been infected with the virus.
Isolation stays reset if another household member is diagnosed with COVID-19. In that case, those household members may have to be isolated for up to 14 additional days, depending on when the person tested positive for the virus.
There are 14 households with multiple COVID-19 cases, according to Dr. Kami Kandola.
“It is confusing,” said Dr. AnneMarie Pegg, the territory’s medical director in a press conference on Wednesday.
In addition to those rules, all N.J. Macpherson students and staff have to have received a negative COVID-19 test before they can return to school.
Come May 17, schools in Yellowknife will have been closed for two weeks. So far there have been 61 COVID-19 cases stemming from the outbreak at N.J. Macpherson.
Most of the COVID-19 cases are students at N.J. Macpherson or household members of students, according to Kandola.
A testing clinic will be run at N.J. Macpherson for people who are contacts of COVID-19 cases on Thursday.
People who are contacts of contacts — someone who is not living with an individual who has been confirmed as a case of COVID-19 — can go to the school for testing on Friday and Saturday.
Appointments can be booked through the Health and Social Services Authority’s website.