Active cases of Covid-19 have dropped from 122 to 69 as of Jan. 13 according to numbers acquired by the Inuvik Drum.

Aklavik now has 45 active cases, down 11 from Monday. Inuvik has dropped to 11 from 39. All eight of the cases in Tsiigehtchic have cleared, Fort McPherson is down to seven cases and Tuktoyaktuk has six. So far, Paulatuk, Ulukhaktok and Sachs Harbour have avoided any Covid-19 cases.

While numbers are dropping overall, there were also nine new cases. One new case is travel related and the remaining new cases were from household spread of individuals already isolating.

The internally distributed numbers are in a direct contrast to numbers published to the GNWT’s Covid-19 dashboard, which still lists the Beaufort Delta as having 122 cases on Jan. 13.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola told Inuvik Drum the internally distributed daily counts are intended for government-use only and have not been validated by her staff — meaning exact numbers of cases may not match official counts 100 per cent.

“Everyday we provide regional updates, so in the Beaufort Delta you’ll know every day what the numbers are,” she said. “The regional Chief Operation Officers are communicating with governments on a regular basis to let them know what the numbers are, but these numbers need to be validated and that takes time.

“That requires validation, it requires removing duplicates, it requires a level of effort that can’t be sustained on a daily basis, because I need those staff to actually focus on outbreak response.”

She added when the GNWT identifies a public health risk, the location and time of exposure is published immediately.

Health Minister Julie Green said the internal numbers are provided to governments at their request and should be considered unofficial counts.

“There is no loss of service to the public in not providing the updates more often,” she said. “The important indicator for Omicron is hospitalization. I would encourage people to also focus on that metric as an indicator of what’s going on.”

Green encouraged residents to check the Public Exposure site frequently, as it is updated on a daily basis as cases arise.

Public exposure notices have been released for Stanton’s Grocery Store in both Tuktoyaktuk and Aklavik — anyone who was in the Tuktoyaktuk location on Jan. 4 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Jan. 5 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. should self monitor for symptoms. If symptoms develop, they should isolate immediately and arrange testing. All non-fully vaccinated persons should arrange testing on day four regardless of symptoms.

Anyone who was at the Aklavik location on Jan. 8 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. should self monitor for symptoms. If symptoms develop, they should isolate immediately and arrange testing. All non-fully vaccinated persons should arrange testing on day four regardless of symptoms.

The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer announced today it will no longer publish exposures on Air Canada and Westjet flights into Yellowknife. Anyone flying into Yellowknife will now be expected to follow the “Know what to do for 72” guidelines published on the GNWT’s website.

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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