The Northwest Territories is tightening Covid-related restrictions following a spike in cases over the holidays.
In a press conference on Tuesday, NWT chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola announced that as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, household gatherings would be limited to 10 people, with a maximum of five non-household members. Activities labeled as “high-risk” — including indoor singing and dancing, hand games, funerals, and indoor contact sports — will no longer be permitted.
Drinking establishments will be limited to six patrons per table.
Kandola said these measures will expire on Jan. 21, with the possibility of renewal.
These steps come in response to a wave of holiday cases, driven both by air travel and holiday super-spreader events. More than 6,700 travellers arrived in the territory by plane during a three-week period over the holidays.
As of Jan. 4, there were 160 active Covid-19 cases in the NWT, 144 of which had been detected in the past week.
Omicron is now the dominant variant in the NWT, having reached every region of the territory, according to Kandola. She said all new Covid cases are assumed to be of the Omicron variant.
“This is not the start to 2022 that any of us had envisioned and hoped for,” she said.
However, “Covid-19 is going to remain a public health issue for the foreseeable future,” Kandola added.