COVID-19 Update: January 21

News Type: 

No new cases in Fort Liard identified; monitoring continues in Yellowknife and Hay River


YELLOWKNIFE January 21, 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. Seven are active.

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.

No new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed since the last update.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Fort Liard is six.

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

Isolation numbers in the community remain steady.

Public health is 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

Vaccinations continue in Fort Liard on January 21 for all eligible populations – not just priority populations.

The vaccination clinics will continue to be held in the school gymnasium on the following dates and times:

  • Friday January 22, 11am – 9pm
  • Saturday January 23, 9am – 2pm

These are walk-in clinic hours – you do not need to book an appointment ahead of time.

Some important rules for when you get there:

  • Wear your mask when you come
  • Keep physical distance of at least six feet between you and others
  • Follow any directions from staff at the vaccine clinic to keep each other safe

Getting vaccinated safely with ongoing situation in Fort Liard

There are some important points about getting vaccinated tomorrow.

  • Those who have received confirmed or probable diagnosis of COVID-19: unfortunately, you cannot be vaccinated right now. There will be other opportunities in the future.
  • Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19: Do not come to the vaccination clinic. First call the health centre at 867-770-4301 to be assessed by a healthcare provider. They will let you know your next steps.
  • Those who are contacts of a known or probable case of COVID-19 with no symptoms: Contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case must be assessed by a health care provider and have a negative COVID-19 test result before getting the vaccine. They will be provided scheduled appointments.  
  • For those self-isolating after travel: You will need to complete your self-isolation period in your place of self-isolation. There will be additional opportunities to get vaccinated in Fort Liard in the future.

General vaccine information

Any adults above the age of 18 may now get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine if they want it – including those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, immune-suppressed, or immune-compromised.

This is the latest update from the federal National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI) and is supported by the NWT health authorities.

The health care provider giving the vaccine will talk through its risks and benefits to make sure it is right for you.

Depending on the individual and their preference, the benefits of getting the vaccine for increased protection against COVID-19 may outweigh the risks of waiting until more data on those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have suppressed immune systems. 

Health care staff across the NWT is aware of this change. Prior approval from practitioners is NOT required before presenting at a vaccine clinic.

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.

Relevant links