Confirmed COVID-19 infection in Yellowknife – Closure of N.J. Macpherson School due to outbreak

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YELLOWKNIFE May 1, 2021 – The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) has confirmed that an individual was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Yellowknife today. This infection is not related to travel outside the Northwest Territories. The individual is currently isolating and doing well.

The OCPHO determines there are an additional 4 probable cases (of which 2 are presumptive positive through ID NOW testing) closely connected to the confirmed case. Final laboratory confirmation is pending.

The OCPHO and Yellowknife Public Health have identified a number of public exposures. Based on this information, the OCPHO is declaring an outbreak at N.J. Macpherson School.

Investigation and contacts

Public health teams are contacting individuals identified as contacts directly. Please refer to the GWNT COVID-19 website for clarity around self-isolation requirements for people identified as contacts of COVID-19 and their families. If public health has not actively reached out to you, you have not been identified as a contact of a case of COVID-19.

All household members of close contacts are requested to isolate for 14 days after the last exposure to a known case.

Household Members who are fully vaccinated (2 weeks after your 2nd dose of COVID 19 vaccine) can safely work if no one in the household is symptomatic or identified as a close contact of COVID 19

Where the OCPHO is not able to identify all contacts, it is providing public notifications. This list will be updated if further exposures are identified.

Public Exposure Risk

All members of the public must notify public health immediately if you, or any member of your household, was at the following location during the outlined times:

  1. Quiznos Restaturant - 314 Old Airport Road

  • Thursday April 29, 2021
  • 6:15-7:15 PM
  • No risk of ongoing exposure from this location
  1. N.J. Macpherson School

  • During regular school hours from April 26 – 29 inclusive
  • Anyone (students, staff, volunteers, etc) and any others identified via this notification during this time interval must:
    • Stay at home and isolate for 14 days starting May 01, 2021
    • Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 using: the NWT online COVID-19 self-assessment tool; self-monitoring handout; and, self-monitoring form.
    • If you have symptoms get tested immediately and isolate away from other members of your household. Contact a healthcare provider for further direction.
    • Household Members who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine) can safely work if no one in the household is symptomatic or identified as a close contact of COVID-19.

A letter has been sent by N.J. Macpherson School to all parents and staff.

The school will move to remote learning as of May 3, 2021 for a period of 14 days.

Further Restrictions

  • The OCPHO is suspending ALL organized child and youth extra-curricular activities (sports, arts, other) until further notice.


Please be aware that if public health has not been in contact to ask that you be tested, and you do not have symptoms, there is no reason to be tested at this time unless you develop symptoms. Please do not take away an appointment from someone who needs one at this time.

What you can do

  • Keep gatherings small
  • Indoor household gatherings must be limited to no more than the five regular visitors to a maximum of 10 people in the household at any given time.
  • Get vaccinated
  • Get tested only if you have symptoms or required by public health
  • Stick to healthy habits we know work to stop COVID-19 in its tracks will also help you take some control of your risk.
    • Self-isolate whenever required
    • Prioritize physical distancing of at least six feet (two metres)
    • Wear non-medical masks in all public places
    • If you’re feeling even a little sick, stay home,
    • Call your health centre or public health unit at the first sign of any sickness to get tested for COVID-19
    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Keep coughs and sneezes to yourself
    • Public health may issue additional local guidance when more data becomes available. There will be further updates as we learn more.
  • And, look for ways you can assist others in the community through your support. Be kind.


All commentary is attributable to Dr. Kami Kandola, Chief Public Health Officer for the Northwest Territories.

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