Aspen isolation centre closes
The GNWT halted its use of a downtown apartment building as an isolation centre for underhoused individuals at the end of March, almost exactly a year after it began.
Use of the building was “intermittent” so the program moved into hotels.
“It was developed quickly as a safe space to protect individuals who were awaiting Covid-19 test results or required isolation because of a positive test,” the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority explained in a news release.
Tourism, hospitality recovery lags
Fewer businesses on average experienced severe revenue losses in 2020, but those in the tourism and hospitality sector saw slower recovery than other sectors.
One in four NWT businesses saw a revenue drop of 30 per cent or more, the rate for Canada was one in three. More NWT businesses than the national average closed temporarily, though, 25.5 per cent compared to 18.5 per cent nationally.
Some could end isolation early
Changes to public health orders took pressure off vaccinated travellers.
Armed with a negative test and two Covid-19 shots, individuals could end their isolation on day 8, much sooner than after 14 days, after April 21.
“Self-isolation has been one of the pillars of our Covid-19 response,” chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola said, “but there is also no denying self-isolating for 14 days is not easy for some people.”
Yellowknifers like Mikey McBryan, general manager at Buffalo Airways, were getting in on the non-fungible token (NFT) craze. McBryan said in April he’d sold eight-bit renderings of planes online for a total of about $1,000.
Melaw Nakehk’o said NFTs make it easier for Northern artists to earn from their work.
“We don’t need to be in a bigger centre to get in a gallery to actually start making a living,” she said.
Mystery at Reid Lake
Campground curator Cameron Buddo was confused.
For three years he had the contract to run the Reid Lake territorial park and campground. But the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment took a different direction in 2021.
Another contractor had outscored him on the matrix the department uses to award contracts.
“The fact that there’s no way to file an appeal or even review my scores versus (the winner’s) is where the accountability is lost.”
Bums in seats
Hockey fans rejoiced as the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer permitted the YK Oldtimer’s league to have fans in the stands during a tournament.
“I think everyone was happy to be out and have a way to put a wrap on it,” Conan Donahue, the league’s president, said.
The HBC Havoc defeated the DCL Jets to take the league’s ‘A’ title.
‘Alarming’ stories in taxi survey
Nearly 170 women shared 500 incidents with taxi cabs in the Northwest Territories in a survey.
The Status of Women Council of the NWT launched the survey after women shared harrowing experiences with cab drivers with NNSL Media.
Louise Elder, the group’s executive director, said 80 per cent of the incidents described were of a “sexual nature.” One in 10 involved sexual assault. The specific complaints included non-consensual sexual touching, attempts at touching and other unwelcome advances.
Health minister says too few getting the jab
Health Minister Julie Green expressed concern that the GNWT’s goal of vaccinating three-quarters of the NWT’s adult population was in peril in April.
She said “changing situations” meant the definition of a “fully vaccinated” community may also have to shift.
Added chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola: “If a very high proportion of the Canadian population is vaccinated with a vaccine that effectively prevents severe Covid-19 outcomes and deaths, we will achieve pandemic goals.”
As of April 2, 23,722 first and 13,933 second doses of Covid-19 had been administered to NWT residents.