The second presumptive case of Covid-19 in Inuvik has been confirmed as positive, Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) Kami Kandola said in a media briefing Wednesday.
The latest confirmed case, the 10th in the territory, is a result of household transmission from the first case confirmed last week.
Kandola reminded residents to continue wearing non-medical masks indoors, keeping their social circles small and maintaining social distancing when possible. For those returning to the territory and sharing a home with someone completing their 14 day self-isolation, she said to ensure you stay in separate areas of the house and disinfect common areas as much as possible.
The reminder follows a recent Inuvik positive case, announced Oct. 27, that was contracted from a household member who travelled outside the territory. A situation similar to the pair of positive cases in Yellowknife earlier this month.
As Covid cases continue to rise in Southern Canada, Kandola said the NWT should expect a rise in cases as well but that as long as we continue to take proper safety measures “there’s no cause for alarm simply because there are cases.”
“The past few weeks have reminded us we are not invulnerable but as long as the right steps are taken, there is no elevated risk to our community simply because a traveler has Covid-19,” Kandola said.
“We need to normalize the fact that there will be more cases.”
“We are not, and have never been, immune from the effects of this pandemic. The good news is we have the tools to manage cases when they do arise,” she said.
The GNWT has also begun collecting samples for wastewater testing in Yellowknife, which is believed to uncover Covid four to 10 days faster than other means of testing. The government continues to be in the process of installing the wastewater samplers in Hay River, Inuvik, Fort Simpson and Fort Smith.
While the presence of the virus in wastewater would not necessarily indicate active community transmission of Covid, it could serve as an early warning system.
With Halloween this weekend, Kandola said to she is looking forward to seeing “physically distant ghouls and goblins.”
She reminds trick-or-treaters to keep face to face contact minimal, take turns at each house to minimize crowds, and wash hands as much as possible – especially after touching frequently touched surfaces like doorbells for example.
She also asks residents to get creative to find ways of giving out candy with minimal contact “whether it’s a hockey stick or another type of inanimate extension.”
Kandola cautioned NWT residents to fight the “Covid fatigue,” she said is being seen in other jurisdictions.
“It’s been a long journey of people just hoping that this could die down and go away but unfortunately the number of cases are starting to increase,” she said, adding that now is not the time to become less diligent.
“What we are asking the public is just to hang in there. Take the right precautions here in the NWT.”