So, Covid-19 has reared its ugly head in the NWT again. One case in Inuvik and two in Yk. Not cool.

But, no need to panic! Eat bannock … and tea and listen to CKLB. lol.

Seriously, it appears nobody else has been infected. NWT public health measures have kept us safe. Plus, we know a lot more about this virus than when it first hit, eh!

Wanna stay safe? You know what to do. Listen to experts, not to people like Donald Trump who’s going against science for political reasons. Eschia (take it easy, eh)!

Remember, the main way to catch Covid is through droplets of moisture that come from people who have Covid and who breathe, cough, or sneeze on you. It’s also on the things they cough or sneeze on.

So … as public health officials are saying around the world, there are some main things to do to stay safe and the first is to physically distance, meaning to stay at least six feet away from people. No matter who they are. Unless you live in the same house.

And wear a mask whenever you can’t stay six feet away from people. If you have a get together, keep the group small and stay six feet apart. Try to be outside or in a large space with a high ceiling to keep everyone safer. 

Always, always wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If you can’t do that, use hand sanitizer. Well yaaaaaa!

And do not touch your face after touching things outside your home. Remember you get sick by transferring germs to your mouth, nose or eyes. All of this also pertains to catching the flu and cold germs.

If you are coughing or sneezing it’s important to act as if you’re really sick and cough or sneeze into your elbow, a Kleenex or your mask. 

And, very important: please, please, please self-isolate when required. It’s one of the most important things you can do to prevent outbreaks. Report someone to the authorities if they are supposed to be self-isolating but are going into public places like stores, bars, or the gym.

Why? Because Covid can only get into the NWT if we bring it here. That includes me, you, your neighbor, or your grandchild.

To illustrate how easy it is to catch, a friend of mine lives down south and she went to visit her granddaughter for Thanksgiving. She got Covid from her granddaughter who was exposed at her school.

My friend says they did everything right on the way there, returning and when they went out: they washed their hands, used disinfectant wipes, wore masks and so on. But I’m sure she hugged and probably kissed her granddaughter.

Luckily, she didn’t go out after she got back home and … so far, her symptoms are mild. Yayyyy!

She says, “Please, please be careful out there – the virus is still very much alive and active!”

And then, there’s the wedding celebration in Calgary from which 49 people caught Covid-19. People from several different households attended the 63-person event and some of them passed it onto others.

To boot, the Alberta chief medical officer says there have been several outbreaks at weddings, funerals and other social gatherings.


Free hotel room for travellers

So, what happened here? Well a person from YK travelled south and someone from their household didn’t travel. The person who had traveled isolated at home and the other person kept their distance in the home but still caught Covid-19.

Why? They likely shared the bathroom and/or kitchen.

What should you do if you travel and there are other people in your house who didn’t travel?

Protect NWT will provide you with a hotel room to self-isolate in if you don’t have a self-contained basement or something with its own bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Take the room and stay away from people. Do not play with your loved ones’ lives.

When you fill out your Self-Isolation Plan, put down which designated hub community of Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Smith or Inuvik you will self-isolate in. Then click on “Isolation Center” where it says, “Isolation Household Type.”

Once you submit your Self-Isolation Plan, you will receive an email approving your Plan. It will have a phone number for you to call to arrange for a free room and board at a hotel for 14 days. Yayyyy.

If you absolutely have to stay with others who have not travelled, act as though you actually have Covid to keep others safe. Stay in an area of the home by yourself and do not share a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen or other spaces.

If this is not possible, wear a mask, stay at least six feet away from others and wash your hands often for 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Do not share personal items like toothbrushes, towels, washcloths, bed linen, unwashed dishes, drinks, cigarettes or electronic devices like phones and remote controls.

At least once a day, clean and disinfect surfaces that people touch often, using a water and bleach mixture or an approved household disinfectant.

If it’s not possible to use different bathrooms, clean it every time you use it with bleach mixture or disinfectant. Flush with the lid down and use a garbage can with a lid and plastic liner.

Do not let anybody into your home until the 14 days of isolation are over.

If you need help in filling out the self-isolation plan form, or information on Covid-19, call 811 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Or call 1-833-378-8297 if you’re outside the NWT.

If you get a message saying to call back later, you can also call 867-767-9052, extension 49034, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Yes, Covid-19 strikes again, so be careful out there.


Roy Erasmus

Roy Erasmus Sr. Is a certified wellness counsellor who survived heart disease and a former member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories.

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  1. Great piece Roy! I really enjoyed all the information you provided so clearly! Keep up the good work and stay safe my friend…