The Government of the Northwest Territories believes it has located the likely source of infection of the Covid-19 case identified last week at the Gahcho Kue Diamond Mine.

The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) issued an update on Monday stating that an investigation determined the infection was tied to a close contact travelling outside the Northwest Territories.

At this point, there’s no indication of ongoing transmission and the issue will be monitored and updates provided as needed, stated the release.

De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds’ Gahcho Kue diamond mine lies 280 km northeast of Yellowknife.
photo courtesy DeBeers Canada

RELATED COVERAGE: GNWT confirms new Covid-19 case at Gahcho Kue mine 

The individual who was the likely source of Covid-19 was tested and that result came back negative. As a result, the individual was determined “not infectious,” which isn’t unusual late in the potential incubation period, according to the OCPHO.

Tests were also done for people who had spent time with this individual during the potential infectious period and all of those test results were also negative.

Over the weekend of Oct. 23-25, no new cases of Covid-19 were detected.

Mine site testing update

The GNWT states that its investigation revealed a clerical error that caused an incorrect sample to be sent for reassessment by Stanton Territorial Hospital’s lab.

“This is why there was initially a false positive reported, and why the confirmed case was not identified in the first round of testing,” states the news release.

The OCPHO also states that the public can expect wastewater testing to be fully implemented in Yellowknife soon.

“This will provide additional details which Public Health can use to further assess risk,” states the release.

There have been three active cases of Covid-19 that have recovered since the last GNWT update.

Risk remains from the south 

Southern jurisdictions in Canada have reported upticks in Covid-19 cases and the GNWT states that territorial residents should take extra public safety precautions without the need for alarm.

The OCPHO is reminding residents to prioritize physical distance of at least six feet (or two metres), wear a non-medical mask whenever keeping distance is difficult and keep crowds small and spaces large to reduce the risk of transmission.

Members of the public are also asked to frequently wash their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer, maintain self-isolation when required and stay home when feeling sick.

“If you develop any symptoms, contact your local health-care centre to be assessed for Covid-19,” states the release. “They are here to help you stay safe. If you are required to self-isolate, stick to your plan to keep others safe.”

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

Leave a comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.