All were self-isolating during period covered by wastewater advisory. Limited contacts expected.
YELLOWKNIFE December 10, 2020 – Five positive COVID-19 diagnoses have been identified in Yellowknife.
All cases were related to travel.
Four were identified in a single household related to domestic travel outside the NWT.
One was related to international travel.
All are self-isolating appropriately. All are doing well.
The initial investigation has identified limited contacts related to the four individuals in the first household.
There are only household contacts related to the fifth diagnosis. All were self-isolating as a household.
The investigation has not identified any exposure risk in public places.
Actions taken to mitigate further risk
Public health is reaching out to contacts to get them appropriate isolation advice and will continue to follow-up with the household contacts identified to ensure they are supported.
Monitoring of the situation will continue.
Connection to wastewater advisory
All of these individuals were self-isolating during the November 30-December 4 period for which wastewater surveillance revealed undetected cases of COVID-19.
Five undetected cases of COVID-19 uncovered in less than 24 hours is an extremely positive development as the territory works to ensure risk of community transmission is contained in the City of Yellowknife.
However, the advisory from December 9 remains in-place.
While these new cases are travel related, more information from diagnostic testing and additional wastewater analysis is needed to confidently assess whether there remains a risk of community transmission.
Get a swab. Get it early
It is more important than ever that anyone with any symptoms at all comes forward for a COVID-19 test.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is reminded that you may present to the Yellowknife Primary Care Clinic for a COVID-19 test at any time.
This is how you can help keep communities safer throughout this period of higher risk. When public health knows about a case of COVID-19, they can investigate, get contacts isolated, and prevent further transmission.
Getting a test is quick and easy. Most results are returned in less than two days. If you have no exposures or travel history in the last two weeks, you can go back about your regular activities if you get a negative result, do not have a fever, and your symptoms have improved.
Importance of household self-isolation
As risk rises across Canada, and travel volumes grow in the NWT, requiring self-isolation for everyone in a household if anyone has travelled is our most important layer of protection.
These measures and your efforts to adhere to them stop cases like these from becoming outbreaks.
In these crucial weeks, please do your part – stick to your self-isolation plan.
And to everyone who has made this sacrifice for the safety of our communities: thank you.
All commentary is attributable to Dr. Kami Kandola, Chief Public Health Officer for the Northwest Territories.