The ushering in of 2022 brought about many different celebrations. However, what didn’t occur was the arrival of a New Year’s baby in the NWT.

So far, no new babies have been welcomed at Stanton Territorial Hospital, Inuvik Regional Hospital, the Fort Smith Health Centre or the Hay River Health Centre also unable to provide details.

With regards to Stanton, the closure of the obstetrics unit on Dec. 10 made any delivery an unlikely circumstance. Families expecting babies are being diverted to Alberta for labour and delivery.

Kristi Bland, senior adviser of media relations and issues management for Alberta Health Services, indicated that it may take a while before the NWT finds out who the New Year’s baby is, if ever.

“Given the current restrictions in place at our health-care facilities and ongoing health system challenges brought on by Covid-19, Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health will again not be identifying or announcing this year’s New Year’s babies,” read a statement that Brand provided.

The province does hope to bring the practice back in 2023, barring future Covid-19 complications.

“While we understand that this is a traditional news event, it is simply not possible to invite media into our facilities at this time, or facilitate media interviews,” the statement added. “In addition, our labour and delivery teams are extremely busy and priority must be given to patient care.”

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