Three Individuals Diagnosed With COVID-19 in NWT

News Type: 

Two at Diavik, one in Yellowknife. Investigations reveal low risk of transmission.


YELLOWKNIFE December 23, 2020 – Three individuals have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories.

Two are non-resident workers at Diavik Diamond Mine. One is a non-resident worker in Yellowknife. All cases are travel-related.

The three patients are self-isolating in workplace-provided accommodations and doing well.

Diavik Diamond Mine


The two workers with confirmed COVID-19 travelled to the mine on separate flights and tested positive on arrival. Stanton Territorial Hospital laboratory confirmed the positive tests.

Actions Taken

Public Health worked with the medical team at Diavik to have the affected individuals isolate immediately upon case identification, and to identify people who were in contact with the two confirmed cases.

All contacts are now in isolation at the mine site. The health care workers will continue to monitor all isolating individuals throughout the isolation period per established protocols.

Public/Worksite Risk

The risk of further transmission at the worksite is assessed to be very low.  



The individual arrived in Yellowknife via domestic air travel from outside the NWT.

Actions Taken

Public Health worked with the employer to have the affected individual self-isolate immediately.

Public Health also worked with the airline to obtain flight manifests to follow-up with passengers who may have been sitting in affected rows. Public Health routinely notified the Public Health Agency of Canada regarding potential exposure during other flights in Canada.

Public/Worksite Risk

Other than the flight, all contacts are in the non-resident worker’s home province, not in the NWT.

Public health in NWT considers only passengers in the rows identified below as having an exposure risk and Yellowknife Public Health is currently contacting these individuals. Others on the airplane are at minimal risk and should simply follow routine public health advice for self-isolation as they enter NWT, monitor for symptoms, and contact their health centre or public health unit if they develop symptoms.

Flight information


Flight number




Affected rows

Air Canada




December 21

7 to 13

What to do if you were in these rows and have not been contacted:

  • Contact your local health centre or public health unit to arrange for COVID-19 testing.
  • Continue to self-isolate at-home for 14 days after your arrival as-required.
  • Your household is also required to self-isolate if you are not in a self-contained unit.
  • For information on COVID-19 testing, click here.

As COVID risk grows, reduce spread by shrinking gatherings

We are now regularly seeing new cases of COVID-19 in the NWT. So far, they have been contained because people are taking the right steps to keep communities safe.

But we can’t assume that every instance of COVID-19 will be contained. We need to look at our individual and collective behavior to make sure transmission is limited if COVID-19 is present in the community.

This holiday season, it is critical to keep gatherings small to reduce transmission risk. COVID-19 moves quickly in crowds –whether traditional, religious, or family get-togethers. Any time many people are close together, the of transmission is significantly higher.

To prevent transmission, remember the guidance:

  • No more than five people you don’t live with at your house.
  • No more than 25 at organized indoor public gatherings.
  • No more than 50 people outside. Remember that wall tents are considered indoors.
  • Keep physical distance of at least six feet / two metres.
  • Bigger, more open spaces are always better.

With infection across Canada at its highest level since the pandemic began, taking these steps will help to limit risk to your families, friends, and communities this holiday season.


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

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