Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola has issued a 14-day containment order for Whatì after 10 probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19 were found in the community, Kandola said in a news release on Sept. 11.
There are more than 40 known contacts of the cases.
“The rapid increase in the number of infections indicates that Whatì is in the early stages of community transmission,” Kandola said.
The order, which goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 11 requires the closure of non-essential businesses and a shift to remote learning for schools in the community.
Additional restrictions will be put on indoor or outdoor gatherings to include only household members.
Essential services will remain open with some limitations.
The cases have been traced to a community barbecue on Sept. 6 and anyone who attended it is a contact of COVID-19.
Partially or unvaccinated attendees of the barbecue must immediately self-isolate and notify the health centre. Attendees who are fully vaccinated should self-monitor.
Kandola recommends against non-essential travel to and from Whatı̀.
Anyone who is not fully vaccinated and who traveled from Whatı̀ to another NWT community since Sept. 6 must isolate at their destination and notify their local health centre.
The cases in Whatı̀ represent further spread of coronavirus in the Tłı̨chǫ region, as there are 16 active cases in Behchokǫ̀.
Due to the spread, the election for Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief has been postponed until Nov. 18, 2021, registrar Gabrielle Mackenzie-Scott said on Sept. 10.
The election was originally scheduled for Sept. 30.