The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer is planning to shorten by a week the extended gathering and containment orders in the Town of Hay River and the K’atl’odeeche First Nation.

As of Nov. 3, there were 13 active Covid-19 cases between Hay River and K’atl’odeeche First Nation. That figure was down from 30 on Nov. 2 and down from 50 when the gathering and containment orders were issued on Oct. 22.

Chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola said in a statement Nov. 2 that due to recent decreasing cases of the virus, she may cut short her orders that were originally to stretch into Nov. 14. The new target date is Nov. 7 at 11:59 p.m.

“The expectation is that the number of active Covid-19 infections will continue to drop in these communities and there will be no need for the additional week of restrictions that had been set out in those orders,” Kandola said.

Even though the orders are cut short, both communities will be required to follow the territory-wide public health order that took effect on Oct. 22, restricting indoor gatherings to 25 people and outdoor events to 50 people, unless exemptions are granted.

As of Nov. 3, the Office of the chief public health officer had not yet revoked the orders, but will make further announcements if the decision is made.

Kandola said in her statement that the declining figures were the result of residents following public health orders, including ongoing physical distancing, washing hands and getting vaccinated.

“While this is evidence that the restrictions outlined in the public health orders are being effective, this is a greater reflection on the community members themselves. Residents have taken the necessary steps to protect themselves, their friends and family and their fellow community members,” she said.

Praise for chief

Kandola lauded Chief April Martel of the K’atl’odeeche First Nation, who helped organize the response to her community’s recent outbreak.

“Specific recognition is warranted for Chief Martel for the demonstration of leadership that has been on display over the past few weeks to support her community,” Kandola said.

“NTHSSA (NWT Health and Social Services Authority) and Hay River Health and Social Services Authority also deserve recognition for their efforts ensuring efficient testing and contact tracing was completed.”

Kandola also stated that the number of Covid-19 cases appears to be dropping overall in the NWT.

“Collectively, the Northwest Territories appears to be moving out of the outbreak as the number of active Covid-19 infections continues to trend downward,” she said. “The outbreak is not over, and residents should continue to practise healthy habits and evaluate their personal level of acceptable risk within requirements set out in the NWT-wide public health order. “

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa.. Simon can be reached at (867)...

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