GNWT officials want people to know they’re serious about public health orders. So serious, they’re making a point of using the Dec. 22 Public Health Order to enshrine “current common practices and advice of health care providers” into law.

The Dec. 22 notice said the new public health order came into effect at 5 p.m. as the NWT’s first case of Omicron variant Covid-19 was recorded Dec. 19. There remains only one known case of Omicron in the NWT, however there were 10 new exposure notifications listed for Yellowknife and flights coming into the territory from Alberta published Dec. 22 as well.

“Any persons that test positive for a COVID-19 infection or are considered contacts of a positive COVID-19 infection as identified by a public health official are required, under the PHO, to isolate for 10 days unless otherwise advised by a public health official,” said chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola. “Any persons who are affected by a public exposure notification, published on the Government of the Northwest Territories COVID-19 website, are required to comply with the required action(s) published via the website.

“Any persons who are showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 are required to self-isolate and contact their local health care provider.”

Under the Public Health Order, which applies to all NWT residents and can be read here, it is considered an offence to wilfully violate public health and isolation requirements. This is not anything new — all public health orders are legally binding.

It notes that only the Chief Public Health Officer can name exceptions to the isolation requirements for anyone required to isolate under the act. It also lists off guidelines for people in isolation on what is permitted and not permitted while they are in isolation.

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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