The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) declared an outbreak of COVID amongst the underhoused and vulnerable population in Yellowknife.
Since mid-August, the OCPHO confirms that 19 people who accessed shelters have been infected with the virus. Based on information obtained during contact tracing, the OCPHO has identified multiple exposure sites including the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Camp, Salvation Army, Sobering Centre and isolation centres.
In response to this outbreak the COVID Secretariat, OCPHO and the NHTSSA have found other isolation facilities for individuals and contacts that utilize shelters and are diagnosed with COVID-19, provided testing and vaccination at shelter locations, provided additional wrap around supports to help people isolate safely.
The health authorities also introduced measures to prevent exposures in shelters that included screening for symptoms and mandating mask wearing.
The OCPHO is also aware of 10 health and shelter support workers who have tested positive for COVID-19.
OCPHO will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed, any public location in Yellowknife should be continued to be viewed as a possible exposure site.
For the NWT as a whole, there were 24 new cases of COVID announced since Sept. 3, there are 111 active cases among residents in the territory, plus three active out of territory cases, and one previous death.