Minister of Health and Social Services Diane Thom extended the territory-wide Public Health Emergency on April 1, which was first declared 14 days prior under the Northwest Territories Public Health Act.
This extension is due to the continued need for response to the COVID-19 global pandemic to protect public health in the Northwest Territories.
The Public Health Emergency was extended upon the recommendation of Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola.
The declaration of a Public Health Emergency allows the Chief Public Health Officer to take strong, binding actions to protect all Northwest Territories residents, and swiftly respond to the daily evolving needs of the healthcare system as it tackles a pandemic.
Since the first emergency was declared, Dr. Kandola has instituted strict travel prohibitions for non-residents with limited exceptions.
Dr. Kandola’s focus continues to be on controlling the spread over the next 60 days.
With two cases now confirmed, the need to continue to follow Dr. Kandola’s orders and recommendations is even more urgent.
All residents must come together to embrace social distancing by canceling parties, funerals, and other gatherings; keep at least two metres between themselves and others, and wash their hands frequently to slow the spread of the virus.
Under the Act, Public Health Emergencies may last up to 14 days. However, if the risk to public health remains, the Minister may extend a Public Health Emergency, as often as necessary, by a maximum of 14 days for each extension.
Dr. Kandola has indicated she will continue to recommend extensions to the Public Health Emergency until the situation has changed considerably within Canada.