Premier Cochrane provides remarks on COVID-19 situation in Yellowknife

News Releases

Yellowknife — April 25, 2021

Northwest Territories Premier, Caroline Cochrane, issued the following statement on the current cases of COVID-19 and the evolving situation in Yellowknife:

“The last few days have been a stark reminder of how quickly our pandemic situation in the Northwest Territories (NWT) could easily change if we let our guard down. Since the beginning, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) have been committed to protecting the health and well-being of residents.

“This has been no easy task. Limiting the spread of COVID-19 takes the effort of everyone in the NWT to make it happen. Unlike our provincial counterparts, we have been fortunate enough to escape the multiple waves of rising cases that continue to have a significant impact on our southern neighbours. To date we have also been able to avoid the rising cases of variants of concern, and the uncertainty that the current wave has brought to provinces like B.C., Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.

“As you are aware, several students and teachers are self-isolating because of the confirmed case at St. Patrick’s High School, along with multiple other residents from two local businesses. This is a situation that we hoped we would be able to avoid during this pandemic. However, that is not the case. And while we are not out of the woods just yet – this unfortunate situation is a reminder that residents need to continue to get vaccinated.

“We need to achieve herd protection – especially when it comes to insulating our children from the virus until the health community deems it safe. We have a responsibility to protect them.

“For the last 13 months, we have all worked hard to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the NWT, especially when it has come to those who are not able to get vaccinated at this time. Our youth are the future of the Northwest Territories, and until such time as people under the age of 18 are approved by Health Canada to get the vaccine, we all must do our part to protect them. 

“While we are fortunate enough in the NWT to be looking at easing restrictions, the pandemic is not over. And no matter what, we all need to follow the isolation and public health orders to ensure we are protecting our communities and loved ones. There is no excuse for not following the orders. I want to be clear that there are consequences when people don’t follow them.

“As I have said before, it’s important during these moments that we practice compassion, kindness, and express empathy, especially for those who have COVID-19. If there is anything that this pandemic has shown us, it is that we can and will handle every challenge with the strength of our community behind us.

“A big part of our success has been the huge efforts of residents, businesses, and leaders – and part of that success has been how we have supported one another through this pandemic. Please remember this in the coming days and weeks.

“Please, if you are eligible, go get vaccinated as soon as possible. Thank you.”