Below is the NWT COVID-19 Update. The summary includes recent announcements and updates from the Government of the Northwest Territories and is distributed every Friday.
If you wish to distribute this summary to the public, feel free to share the GNWT’s COVID-19 Weekly Update Facebook post which will be made every Friday afternoon.
GNWT COVID-19 website and vaccine updates: www.gov.nt.ca/covid-19
Frequently asked questions: www.gov.nt.ca/covid-19/en/questions-and-answers
Call 8-1-1: Available to callers in the NWT from 8 AM to 8 PM, every day
As of February 15, 13,578 first doses and 579 second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered in the NWT. As vaccine rollout progresses, the GNWT is working to give first doses to as many residents as possible to build our territory’s overall protection against COVID-19. Second doses are continuing to be delivered to priority populations within the recommended 28-42 day timeframe between doses. The NWT is expecting a fourth shipment of vaccine next week from the Federal government.
This week, Yellowknife expanded priority groups for first doses and added second dose opportunities for those who received first doses between January 7-17 and 18-22, 2021. Yellowknife residents can book online or by calling (867) 767-9120.
The most up-to-date vaccine schedule can be found at www.nthssa.ca/covid-vaccine. Residents who do not yet see their communities listed are encouraged to check back as the schedule is updated regularly as vaccine supply and logistics allow.
Public Health – Chief Public Health Officer
Three new COVID-19 Diagnoses confirmed from Gahcho Kué Mine outbreak
The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer has confirmed three new diagnoses of COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories related to the Gahcho Kué Mine outbreak.
All three of the newly-diagnosed individuals are out-of-territory workers. All were previously identified as contacts of earlier cases and have been in quarantine for a week or longer. All are feeling well.
This brings the total number of confirmed diagnoses related to the Gahcho Kué Mine outbreak to 18.
Ten of the individuals are out-of-territory workers and eight are NWT residents.
The territory’s Chief Public Health Officer declared an outbreak at the mine on February 3. Gahcho Kué is located approximately 280 km northeast of Yellowknife.
The full update is available at the Health and Social Services Public Health Advisories page.
Wastewater surveillance dashboard launches
The GNWT has updated the COVID-19 dashboard to display wastewater results by community and include all results from the time sampling started. There are currently six NWT communities where wastewater surveillance is being conducted: Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik, Norman Wells and Yellowknife.
The Chief Public Health Officer has implemented a wastewater surveillance program in these communities to help detect the presence of COVID-19. Testing wastewater is a cost-effective way to test for the virus and an early warning system to detect COVID-19 in our communities.
This testing is a collaboration between community governments, and the departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Municipal and Community Affairs, Health and Social Services, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, including the National Microbiology Laboratory.
You can view the dashboard here: https://nwt-covid.shinyapps.io/Testing-and-Cases/?lang=1
OCPHO offers expanded exemptions to self-isolation for travelers from Nunavut
The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) is now considering self isolation exemptions for travellers from Nunavut who are arriving or plan to arrive in the NWT. They will still need to submit a self-isolation plan and exemption request through ProtectNWT and must receive an approved exemption letter from the CPHO before they can be exempt from self-isolation. Anyone who has already arrived in the NWT from Nunavut can also apply for a retroactive exemption by contacting ProtectNWT. The full media release is available in the GNWT Newsroom.
Public Notice – Additional First Dose Appointments in Yellowknife for Priority Populations, Second Dose Appointments Being Delayed in Some Communities
As vaccine rollout progresses in the NWT, we are working to give first doses to as many residents as possible to build our territory’s overall protection against COVID-19. For all communities, the most up-to-date vaccine schedule can be found at www.nthssa.ca/covid-vaccine. The full media release is available in the GNWT Newsroom.
Public Health Emergency Extended
The GNWT has extended the territory-wide Public Health Emergency under the Northwest Territories’ Public Health Act on the advice of Chief Public health Officer, Dr. Kami Kandola. The latest extension continues through March 2, 2021. The full media release is available in the GNWT Newsroom.
Important things to know about the COVID-19 vaccine:
- The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is reported to be 92% efficacious 14 days or more after the first dose, which means that residents with only one dose of vaccine are already building strong immunity against the disease.
- We understand that life, commitments, appointment availability, or weather may prevent people from getting their second dose within the recommended window. If administration of a second dose of vaccine is delayed for any reason, the second dose should be provided at the soonest availability. Residents do not have to restart the vaccine series if this happens.
- Given the current shortage of vaccine, our priority is to provide protection to as many of our vulnerable residents as possible.
- Every dose given in the NWT boosts our territory’s defense against COVID-19 and benefits us all. The NWT is currently leading the country in vaccine coverage to date and is well-positioned to provide both doses to 75% of the adult population well before other jurisdictions in Canada.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine visit the NTHSSA website.
Government of Canada COVID-19 Update for Indigenous Peoples and communities
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is closely monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases reported in First Nations communities across the country. With new COVID-19 variants on the rise, it is critical that everyone continue with physical distancing, wearing masks, avoiding gatherings and non-essential travel, staying home when sick, and keeping up with frequent hand, cough and surface hygiene. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s new guidance recommends that all Indigenous adults be prioritized for immunization.
You can read the full media release at the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Announcements page.