Caroline Cochrane: Presumptive Cases of COVID 19

Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Yellowknife — October 16, 2020

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Good afternoon, and thank you for being here today.

As you are aware, the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer announced three presumptive cases today – one case in Inuvik, and two cases in Yellowknife.

When the pandemic began, we made quick decisions about how we were going to protect residents and our communities from a possible outbreak. We declared a public health emergency; we restricted travel; we required self-isolation planning; and we put restrictions on businesses and people as our first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed. 

We stood up contact centres like Protect NWT and 8-1-1; placed border staff at airports and highways and enforcement officers across our regions; and we established safe space for isolation in communities with enhanced medical care.

The health and safety of NWT residents and communities was, and still is, our biggest priority.

And those decisions paid off.

Our communities were kept safe from COVID-19, and we have experienced no loss of life.

The second wave that was anticipated by health officials across Canada in the early days of the pandemic, is here. Southern Canada is seeing record levels of cases, and it was inevitable that we would eventually see new cases in the Northwest Territories.

What I want to say is this: the measures we put in place at the beginning of the pandemic are only going to be effective if everyone does their part. It’s critical for residents and communities to remain as diligent as ever before. The Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to protecting you.   

I know that the measures we have in place have been difficult for everyone – but it’s important to remember, that we are all in this together. We must look out for one another, and take care of those around us. 

Northerners are resilient, and when faced with difficult challenges, we always find a way to persevere. I am confident that we will continue to adapt to the pandemic to ensure we are protecting the health and safety of our residents and communities.

Stay safe, and stay positive.

I’d now like to turn the mic over to Minister Green.