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Mandatory masks, self-isolation changes and longer containment orders

The GNWT is making several changes to COVID-19 rules, including mandatory masks, self-isolation changes and making the containment orders in Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake longer. 

Changes are also being made to the timeline for leisure travel restrictions being loosened. 

They were supposed to be lifted when the territory reached a 75 per cent fully vaccinated rate, but NWT’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola says that won’t be happening due to the number of cases daily in Canada exceeding 1,000 average, as well as the outbreak. 

All the measures are coming as the GNWT tries to stem the spread of the Sahtu outbreak

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Masks are being made mandatory in indoor public space at 8 a.m. tomorrow throughout the NWT. 

The containment orders in place in Colville Lake and Fort Good Hope are being extended to Sept. 4. 

Residents who tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 10 days. People no longer have to self-isolate 10 days after they tested positive for COVID-19 or 10 days after their symptoms appeared. 

Changes are also being made to the self-isolation rules. 

Symptom checking has been reduced to days 2 and 6 only. Symptom checks will no longer be required on days 10 and 14.

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Fully vaccinated travellers that require entry and exit testing will now have the exit test day changed to day 8 from day 14. 

There are now 227 COVID-19 cases connected to the Sahtu outbreak, leading to a containment order recently being introduced in Norman Wells. 

One NWT resident died due to the virus on the evening of August 23, the first COVID-19 death related in the territory since the pandemic began.

Twenty seven of those cases are in Yellowknife, where there are the first signs that community transmission is happening — according to a separate update from the GNWT.

The statement says residents should consider all public spaces as exposure sites.

In addition to that, there are exposure risks on two flights from Yellowknife.

The August 23 flight that left from Yellowknife to Hay River at 7:30 p.m. is considered an exposure site, and everyone should self-monitor for symptoms. People who aren’t fully vaccinated need to self-isolate and arrange for testing.

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The same rules apply for a flight from Yellowknife to Gameti on August 22 at 3:30 p.m. 

There is a long list of exposure rules in place. A full list can be found here.

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