A new gatherings order is being introduced territory-wide on Friday as the current orders in Yellowknife and Behchokǫ̀ are set to expire.
This means schools in Yellowknife, Dettah, Ndilǫ, and Behchokǫ̀ are to reopen on October 25th.
COVID-19 cases in the four communities are down to 189 as of October 18th. Back on October 6th, that number reached a high of 440.
The new order, beginning at 5 p.m. on October 22nd, will introduce a new gathering limit for businesses of no more than 25 people indoors and no more than 50 people outdoors.
However, the Chief Public Health Officer says the new order will also include proof of vaccination options as a way to mitigate risk within non-essential businesses and organizations.
Dr. Kami Kandola says the new option could allow for larger gatherings, with less distancing, as long as those eligible to receive a vaccine can provide proof of vaccination.
“This means that those that are ineligible, such as children under the age of 12, would still be able to participate in these activities and attend at these businesses,” she adds.
Larger gatherings would then be limited to 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors.
Kandola says all non-essential businesses or organizations who wish to exceed the indoor 25-person limit, and outdoor 50-person, will need to apply or reapply for applications to vary from this new order.
She also confirms that the updated order will not apply to communities under stricter restrictions such as Hay River, which was put under a containment order last night.