An NWT resident has died from COVID-19, according to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola.
Kandola says the death was confirmed late in the evening of August 23rd.
This is the first COVID-19 related death in the NWT since the start of the pandemic last March.
Prince Edward Island now remains the only province/territory in the country without a COVID-19 related death.
The territory is currently in the midst of the Sahtu outbreak, with 220 residents having caught the virus in just the past two weeks.
That number surpasses the total number of cases the territory has had up to this point in the pandemic.
Surveillance done over the past week confirms that the Delta variant is to blame for the recent surge of cases in the territory.
64 of the cases have been confirmed as the Delta variant while the other 157 cases are still pending.
Kandola says at a time when they are trying to keep an entire population healthy, this death serves as a reminder that individuals are at the heart of this effort.
“My thoughts are with the person’s family, friends, and community,” she said. “The memories of the person who died will weave into the collective memories of their loved ones and live on.”
Premier Caroline Cochrane and Health Minister Julie Green released a statement on the death noting the current case count in the NWT is a stark reminder that COVID-19 continues to impact NWT lives, and that the situation can change quickly.
“The health and well-being of NWT residents and communities remains our number one priority – and it’s important we continue to increase the number of residents being vaccinated. This is our best defence against the virus,” the statement read.
Kandola, Green and Cochrane say out of respect for the individual and their families, they will not be releasing any additional information or responding to questions about the deceased.