One Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis in Hay River

News Type: 
Past COVID-19 Advisories

Limited contacts. Monitoring continues.


YELLOWKNIFE December 12, 2020 – The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer received notification that an individual in Hay River was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The individual was tested for COVID-19 after returning to the NWT from domestic travel.

The individual has been isolating since return and is doing well.


The investigation identified two flights with some exposure risk related to this COVID-19 diagnosis.

Exposures on flights typically occur when people are traveling before they develop symptoms since there are measures in place to prevent people with symptoms from flying.

The Public Health Agency of Canada identifies that people seated three rows in front and three rows behind a person with COVID-19 could be contacts.

Others on the plane are not considered contacts and should continue following routine public health advice.

All individuals on the flight from Edmonton would be required to self-isolate upon arrival.

Other contacts were limited. Public health has not identified any further public exposures.

Actions taken

Public health has worked with the airlines to identify all individuals potentially at-risk on the flights. All affected passengers have been contacted from a First Air flight. Staff is in the process of reaching affected passengers on a Canadian North flight.

A small number of additional contacts have all been reached and provided isolation advice.

Flight information

If you were a passenger seated in one of the affected rows on the Canadian North flight, please continue to self-isolate and contact public health at 867-767-9120 to arrange for testing if you have not been contacted yet.

  1. Canadian North
    • Flight Number: 238
    • Departing: Edmonton
    • Arriving: Yellowknife
    • Date: December 4, 2020
    • Rows affected: 4-10
  2. First Air
    • Flight Number: 608
    • Departing: Yellowknife
    • Arriving: Hay River
    • Date: December 4, 2020
    • Rows affected: 7-13

Self-isolation and testing: the recipe for a safe, healthy holiday season

What all of our recent cases demonstrate is that the two most important pieces to keeping transmission low is responsible self-isolation, and coming forward for testing.

Self-isolation after travelling outside the NWT will stop cases of COVID-19 from becoming outbreaks, and keep our communities safe.

Getting tested at the first sign of COVID-19 symptoms will keep you safer by making sure you get medical advice quickly.

It will keep your friends, family, and roommates safer by getting you the guidance to make informed choices about how to prevent transmission.  

And it will keep your community stronger and healthier by helping public health professionals investigate contacts, get folks isolated, and break any potential chains of infection.

With the risk of contracting COVID-19 higher-than-ever in Canada, these measures are more crucial than ever.

So let’s all do our part as we make our way through the holiday season, and towards a future with a safe, effective, available vaccine.


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

Relevant links