The GNWT has extended the public health emergency for the territory under the Territories’ Public Health Act, the government announced on Tuesday in a news release.

The extension by Health Minister Diane Thom was made on the recommendation of chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola.

The first public health emergency was declared on March 18 before the first case of Covid was confirmed in the NWT. It has since been extended every two weeks.

“The global Covid-19 pandemic is not over and new cases continue to be reported in other Canadian jurisdictions,” the release said. “Strong public health measures continue to be necessary to ensure that the risk to NWT residents is managed and the GNWT is prepared to respond quickly to any new cases and take appropriate steps to limit the spread of Covid-19 in our territory.”

While public health emergency is ongoing, the state of emergency under the Emergency Management Act is not being extended.

The Covid-related public health measures will be ongoing and have successfully been implemented through the Public Health Act, making it unnecessary to draw on additional authorities to extend the state of emergency.

The discontinuation of the state of emergency will result in “no change to the current public health measures, orders or enforcement activities,” said Jay Boast, spokesperson for the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs.

The government will continue to review its pandemic response plans and if needed, such as in the case of community spread in a second wave it will re-impose a state of emergency.

Travel within the territory is still restricted upon arrival with limited exceptions and all entrants must self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith.

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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