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All five Covid cases in NWT have recovered, GNWT says

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The infected individual is a worker from outside the NWT and the person is self-isolating, said chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola. Wikimedia commons photo

All five of the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the NWT have recovered, the Department of Health and Social Services (HSS) said on Monday.

"I am excited to announce that, as of today, all of Northwest Territories' Covid-19 cases to date are recovered," said Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) Kami Kandola in a tweet.

The news comes just three days after HSS announced that a third case had recovered from the virus.

The territory's five infected patients were from Yellowknife, Inuvik and Fort Resolution.

In order for a Covid patient to be considered recovered, the individual's symptoms must have cleared up and two coronavirus tests with a 24-hour gap in between must come back negative, a GNWT spokesperson said.

Possibility of re-testing positive

There have been some instances of Covid-19 patients recovering and then later re-testing positive for the virus in South Korea and China.

Asked if that could occur in the NWT, the deputy chief public health officer Andy Delli Pizzi said more research is needed into such cases.

“The reasons why a person may re-test positive after clearing their Covid infection, which was widely reported as happening in South Korea, is still uncertain. The positive test may simply be detecting non-viable virus, for example, as a part of the natural course of infection.

"The CPHO recommends stopping isolation precautions after two negative COVID tests — this is an additional safety check which increases the certainty that a person cleared their infection.  These 'safety checks' may change as we learn more about Covid-19.”

As of Tuesday, there have been at least 1,593 tests for coronavirus conducted in the NWT, with 18 results pending, HSS said.

Across Canada there were at least 37,382 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1,728 deaths, with 565,931 tests done, the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a report on Tuesday.