COVID-19 Update: January 20

News Type: 

One new case in Fort Liard confirmed; monitoring continues in Yellowknife and Hay River


YELLOWKNIFE January 20, 2021 – The GNWT is providing daily COVID-19 updates during periods of higher COVID-19 activity.

COVID-19 infections in NWT

The NWT has confirmed 31 cases of COVID-19.

There are currently 0 hospitalizations.

Investigations update

Fort Liard

A rapid response team is deployed to Fort Liard to assist local health staff in tracing, testing, and isolating individuals connected to positive COVID-19 cases in the community.

One new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed since the last update.

This brings the total to 6 confirmed COVID-19 infections in Fort Liard.

All diagnoses are in the same cluster, originally connected to out-of-territory travel.

Isolation numbers in the community remain steady.

Public health is currently cautiously optimistic that initial public health and health services response will control the situation in Fort Liard.

However, we do still expect to see some more infections in the community in the coming days – and things can change very quickly.


Public health continues to investigate the source of an infection in Yellowknife. No new cases have been detected in the community.

Any potential cases will continue to be monitored through:

  • Wastewater signals
  • Symptomatic case testing
  • Targeted asymptomatic screening

As time passes, if nothing is detected, confidence will grow that widespread community transmission did not occur and that this was a single locally acquired case with no identified source.

Hay River

Public health has assessed there is a high-probability that the positive wastewater signal in Hay River was connected to the new cluster of COVID-19 infections in Fort Liard.

The situation will be monitored through ongoing wastewater surveillance.

Exposure notifications

Exposure notifications are issued when health officials do not have confidence that they have been able to get in touch with all contacts of a known COVID-19 case.

There are no active exposure notifications in the NWT.

Vaccination clinic in Fort Liard

A vaccination clinic will still go ahead in Fort Liard on Thursday January 21, 2021.

The clinic will run from 10:30am through 9pm.

The vaccination team is coordinating with the rapid response team to determine the best way to coordinate those seeking vaccination with patient and contact management on-the-ground.

Additional information about which populations will be vaccinated on Thursday will be updated in the morning and information will be available at the health centre.

Additional vaccine clinics will run on Friday and Saturday. Information on timing will be updated as soon as possible.

Take care of yourself

This is a stressful time – but we’re still here to help.

In Fort Liard, you can reach your community counsellor at (867) 770-4770.

If you are looking for help afterhours, the NWT Helpline is available 24/7 at 1-800-661-0844.

Contacts for help in Fort Liard

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or if you’ve been told to be tested, call the rapid response team at 867-695-1655.

If you have trouble reaching them, call the health centre at 867-770-4301 for an appointment.

Call 8-1-1 for information on COVID-19 – including assessing your symptoms, or to ask about the containment order.


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

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