The gathering limits in the North Slave have been extended to the end of Oct. 17.

The measures limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people and barring visitors in private homes with a few exceptions were to expire Oct. 11. Chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola said her decision was prompted by “the current high level of threats coming out of Yellowknife and surrounding communities.

“We have not reached the peak from the current wave of this outbreak.”

She said “some form” of public health order would remain in effect in the region until Covid-19 activity started to trend downward.

But she said schools may return to in-class learning Oct. 18 if Covid-19 activity in the region decreases. The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer reported 378 active cases in the NWT Oct. 6, with 40 hospitalizations and 13 intensive care admissions since the beginning of the pandemic. Six NWT residents have died.

Kandola said 70 per cent of the individuals hospitalized by Covid-19 were not fully vaccinated. Third doses are being made available to some frontline healthcare workers and residents aged 75 or older.

the current COVID situation in the NWT communities of Behchokǫ̀, Dettah, Ndilǫ and Yellowknife (where the case numbers continue to rise) has resulted in an extension of the OCPHO’s gathering order.

“Given the current high-level of threats coming out of Yellowknife and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Kami Kandola. “It is my intention to extend the gathering limitations public health order to through to 11:59 pm to Oct. 17”

As well, Kandola also wished to prepare residents of Dettah, Ndilǫ and Yellowknife that “some form” of public health order will remain in place until downward change is seen in daily case numbers.

There are no plans to change the pre-existing orders to incorporate new requirements for Dettah, Ndilǫ and Yellowknife

For the community of Behchoko, evaluation of the effectiveness regarding additional restrictions that have been put in place will take a few days.

Despite these announcements, Kandola also made mention of the possibility that schools could return to in-class learning come Oct. 18 (if COVID activity decreases). Additional details on this will be provided sometime next week.

In a positive turn, the threat of COVID-19 within the community of Whati has dropped substantially.

Kandola said she has “no intention of renewing the containment order in that community.”

With regards to vaccinations, Kandola added that 70% of people hospitalized in the NWT are not full vaccinated, and that third doses/booster does will be prioritized to specific groups such as those in long-term care, those 75 and up, and front line workers.

“We’re also offering all third doses to those who are immunocompromised in the NWT,” added Kandola.

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