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N.J. Macpherson outbreak spreads to 14 cases, 1,000 people identified as close contacts: CPHO

The Office of the Cheif Public Health Officer waited 10 days to close schools after the first contacts known. NNSL photo

The outbreak at N.J. Macpherson School has spread to include 14 people, with an additional six probable cases awaiting laboratory confirmation.

Chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola said in a news release in the afternoon of May 3 that more than 1,000 individuals have been identified as close contacts of the N.J. Macpherson cases.

The case count stood at eight as of the morning on May 3, as Kandola told reporters at a news conference.

In response to the spread of the outbreak, the Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency (TCSA) has closed two schools in Behchokǫ̀.

The closures come out of concern that students and staff from Behchokǫ̀ had attended group events in Yellowknife over the weekend, such as a multi-school soccer tournament.

Mandatory masking has also been introduced in Behchokǫ̀ and all organized activities have been cancelled, including sports groups for those under 18 years of age.

The new measures follow the closure of all schools in Yellowknife, Dettah and Ndilo on May 2 amid the spread of the N.J. Macpherson outbreak.

Exposure locations and actions

The list of exposure locations in Yellowknife has expanded. If residents or their household members were at the following locations during the following times they must isolate immediately as a contact of COVID-19 for 14 days and arrange testing for COVID-19.

FirstGroup School Bus #2 on April 26-29 in the morning and afternoon.

FirstGroup School Bus #12 on April 29 and 30 in the morning and afternoon.

FirstGroup School Bus #6 on April 28-29 in the morning and afternoon.

FirstGroup School Bus #8 on April 28-30 in the morning and afternoon.

All classes at N.J. Macpherson School on April 26-30.

N.J. Macpherson School's YWCA After school program and Montessori CASA program on April 26-30.

Stanley Boxing and Fitness on May 1 between 9 and 10 a.m.

DND Multiplex Gym - Birthday party on May 1 between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The Field House soccer dressing room #7 on May 1 between 9 and 10:15 a.m.

Field House soccer dressing room #4, left field (Orange Tiger team) on May 1 between 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Bella Dance Academy's jazz class on April 28 between 5:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.

Ms. Phoenix' class at Bella Dance Academy on April 29 between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Bella Dance Academy's Ballet class on May 1 between 10:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

NUP Choir Class on April 29 between 5 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.

École St. Joseph School's Grade 6 (Mr. Paquette's) class on April 28-30.

École St. Joseph School's technology class on April 28-30 from 5 p.m. to 6:45 pm.

Sir John Franklin High School's Grade 10 class on April 30.

My World birthday party on April 30 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The soccer tournament (SpringKickOffYK) from April 30 to May 1 at any time.

Public Exposure Risk - Potential Contacts

Individuals affected by these exposures do not need to isolate. The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) recommends self-monitoring only. If symptoms develop, call public health to arrange for testing as soon as possible.

Quiznos on Old Airport Road on April 29 between 6:15 and 7:15 p.m.

Walmart on May 1 between 12 p.m and 12:30 p.m.

Sushi North on April 30 from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

Book Cellar on April 28 from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Express city bus from St. Pats on April 30 at 3:30 p.m.

Fatburger on April 29 between 5:30 and 6:45 p.m.

Fieldhouse soccer practice on May 1 between 9 and 10:15 a.m.

Rochdi's Independent on April 30 between 2 and 2:45 p.m.

Route B City Bus on April 30 at 11:20.

Overlander on April 29 between 5:30 and 6 p.m. and on April 30 between 4:48 and 5:21 p.m.

Sutherlands on May 1 between 11:20 and 11:45 a.m.

Tundra Transfer on May 1 between 12 and 12:15 p.m.

Luluz on April 30 between 10 and 10:30 a.m.

Investigation and recommendations

All of the confirmed and probable cases identified to date are connected to one large cluster, linked by time, location and common exposures.

The OCPHO continues to investigate and manage the outbreak and a community-wide outbreak is not being declared at this time.

Non-essential travel in and out of Yellowknife, Dettah, Ndilǫ and Behchokǫ̀ should be suspended or deferred until further notice. Residents are advised to continue to attend all necessary medical appointments.

Remote work is highly encouraged for any employees who are able at this time.