The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer is two days late and a dollar short taking action for public safety amid the growing Yellowknife COVID-19 outbreak among, mostly, young people.
The official call to close all Yellowknife schools was finally made on Sunday, May 2 — 10 days after the first contact exposure notice was issued for St. Patrick High School on April 22. The school’s Twitter account posted on April 23 that St. Pat’s would remain open at that time.
Classes have since moved to online learning, but kids, parents and teachers are left hanging by the failure of the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer to act sooner in the interest of public safety.
More than 1,000 contacts have been identified in relation to the N.J. MacPherson COVID-19 cases.
Kandola said herself the infections are “probably” a COVID-19 variant because of the way it has spread — likely the B117 variant.
“That’s what we’re probably going to see in a week or two,” she said.
As lab results roll in, we’ll have a better idea of what we’re dealing with, but our faith has been shaken in our territorial health authority’s ability to adeptly manage the spread of COVID-19.
Why was no action taken to stop the spread by ordering school closures when the risk of contact with a person who just tested positive for COVID-19 at St. Patrick High School was confirmed on April 22? That was just two days after MLA Steve Norn announced he’d tested positive.
The OCHPO’s April 22 announcement of the exposure risk at St. Pat’s indicated 40 close contacts.
On April 23, Yellowknifer reported it received information from a reliable source that the person known to be the third to test positive for COVID-19 attended a party at the sand pits – a party attended by students from both high schools. This party was later linked to the St. Patrick School closure by the OCPHO in a public exposure notification.
The virus had 10 days to spread throughout schools and childcare facilities before the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer made the call to close the schools. Too little, too late.
This government is so terrified to take a misstep that it fails by doing the right thing too late. Now we’re all paying the consequences.
Daycare may not be closed, but who can afford it? Dayhomes are closed, which are usually a more accessible option because they tend to cost less.
People are supposed to be working from home, meaning family homes are now effectively also offices and schools; all within the same walls we’ve all been staring at for a year now.
Why were schools and dayhomes and the like not notified of the issue formally?
The OCPHO is reacting to data instead staying a few moves ahead of the virus. It’s a critical lag, and trying to regain control of a virulent illness is now the unfortunate consequence.