Public Service Announcement – October 29, 2021

News Type: 
Public Service Announcement

YELLOWKNIFE October 29, 2021 – The spooky season is upon us with Halloween falling over this coming weekend. Earlier this week there was an error on our website where we frightfully encouraged residents to howl at a full moon on Halloween. Enthusiastic moon cycle experts pointed out our error. We apologize for the confusion caused in the territorial werewolf community. The correct phase on Halloween will be a waning crescent moon.

Speaking of waning, the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) is seeing evidence of waning immunity across our territory. Two doses of the vaccine do continue to provide effective protection against the COVID-19 virus. However, the CPHO has observed that breakthrough cases are infecting residents that experienced prolonged exposures to COVID-19. Additionally, the scientific data from Israel and the United Kingdom demonstrates that a booster dose significantly increases the protection provided from the vaccine.

All NWT residents that were born in 2003 or earlier are now eligible for the booster shot if more than six months have passed since their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The booster dose can be delivered alongside the flu shot and the CPHO encourages all eligible residents to get both. Additional information can be found on the NTHSSA website.

Trick or Treating isn’t possible this year in Behchokǫ̀ and K’atl’odeeche First Nation but the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer worked closely with the COVID Secretariat and Health and Social Services to deliver some treat bags for those households under restrictive public health orders. Please do not trick or treat in these communities. Keep your children home and your celebrations limited to your household members. 

In other communities where trick or treating is possible, the CPHO is encouraging residents to keep safety as the number one priority. Please do NOT go out trick or treating or participate in handing out candy if:

  • You are feeling sick or have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19
  • Are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test
  • You or anyone in your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You or a household member is currently self-isolating for any reason

If you are going out trick or treating residents are asked to take extra safely measures to keep themselves and their communities safe. Some of these include:

  • Wear a cloth mask covering your mouth
  • Limit your group to your household members
  • Be safe and quick at each house, don’t linger
  • Maintain and encourage safe physical distances between household groups

In addition to the COVID-19 safety tips it is also a good idea for those participating to keep in mind that common Halloween safety tips such as:

  • Choose costumes with light-colour materials increasing visibility
  • Use reflective tape on the arms and backs of dark coloured costumes
  • Dress for the weather, add layers if needed
  • Parents or Guardians accompany their children
  • Don’t go to houses that are poorly lit or aren’t clearly celebrating Halloween
  • Inspect your candy with an adult before eating
  • Stay on the sidewalks and use crosswalks when crossing the roads
  • Bring along a flashlight

Please visit our website for additional safety tips and alternative activities for residents to consider participating in

Attribution

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

Relevant links

Media Contact

Richard Makohoniuk
Manager, COVID Communications
COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
richard_makohoniuk@gov.nt.ca