Three New COVID-19 Infections in Yellowknife

News Type: 
Advisories

YELLOWKNIFE APRIL 23, 2021 – The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) has confirmed three new individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 in Yellowknife.

All three individuals are NWT residents. They are self-isolating and doing well.

The first two individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 23rd are within the same household and linked to domestic travel.

Yellowknife Public Health is conducting an ongoing investigation on the two individuals linked to domestic travel. Public health identifies seven contacts and the individuals are isolated and supported.

No public exposures are identified at this time.

The third individual acquired their infection through international travel. No contacts and no public exposures identified. The individual is isolating and supported.

The NWT sends a sample of the virus detected from all those diagnosed with COVID-19 to our southern lab partners to test for any Variants of Concern.

École St. Patrick’s High School Exposure Update

The Yellowknife Public Health Unit and the OCPHO determined that a person with COVID-19 attended École St. Patrick High School on April 19, 2021.

The OCPHO’s review identifies about 40 people who are contacts. The local public health unit provided letters to contacts and their families, and is reaching out to provide further advice. School administrators also provided a general letter to the entire staff and student body.

As of April 23, 2021, there has not been documented transmission of COVID-19 at École St. Patrick High School, meaning the school is not in an outbreak. The OCPHO has not identified any further risk outside of these identified contacts at the school and continues to monitor the situation. It will notify the public if the situation changes.

People who were notified by public health as contacts should:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days from the date of their exposure. 
  • Self-monitor for symptoms. Any person who is a contact to a person with COVID-19 should promptly notify Yellowknife Public Health if they develop any symptoms.
  • Follow Yellowknife Public Health guidance for testing. The OCPHO recommends that all contacts, even those without symptoms, have tests done during their 14-day isolation.

Household members of a contact, if unable to safely isolate in a separate residence or suite from the contact, should follow the same recommendations as the contact. This means that household members of contacts who have not been isolating separately should self isolate until risk assessments can be completed by public health.

If a contact develops COVID-19, fully vaccinated household members have significant protection, but they are not 100% protected. Even 90% protection leaves some risk and this is why we are asking vaccinated household members of contacts to continue to self isolate.

If people have general questions about COVID-19 or the situation at École St. Patrick High School, they should call 811.

If any staff, student, or member of the public feels that they may be a contact to COVID-19 at École St. Patrick High School and have not been notified, they should call Yellowknife Public Health at: 767-9120.

If you are not a direct contact, or have not been advised to be tested, and have no symptoms, please do not present for testing. Contact Yellowknife Public Health if you have questions.

Public exposure notification

There is one location where some risk of exposure has been identified by public health.                                            

  • April 16 between 9:30 pm to midnight and April 17 between 11 pm to 2 am: Sand Pits bonfire in Yellowknife.
  • Everyone who was in this location at these times must self-isolate immediately for the 14 days after their exposure and contact the Yellowknife Public Health Unit at 867-767-9120 and advise you are a contact of COVID-19 to get additional advice. Those you live with must also self-isolate for the same duration if you cannot safely self-isolate at home away from them.
  • During this period, anyone self-isolating must monitor themselves for symptoms closely. If you develop any of the following symptoms, no matter how mild, we are asking you contact the Yellowknife Public Health Unit to be assessed:
    • Fever
    • New or worsening cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Malaise (generally feeling unwell)
    • Muscle aches
    • Fatigue
    • Sore throat
    • Runny nose
    • Headache
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Loss of sense of smell or taste
    • Loss of appetite

If you are experiencing shortness of breath at-rest, call 9-1-1 - and let them know you may have had an exposure to COVID-19.

How to get tested in Yellowknife

If you have symptoms and cannot find an appointment online, a limited number of walk-ins for people with symptoms can be accommodated.

Keeping our communities safe

The OCPHO wishes to acknowledge the selflessness of those who provide personal information throughout this pandemic. This information protects others around them. 

Identifying contacts who are at higher risk is a major step in protecting NWT. The OCPHO, Yellowknife Public Health, and other key information holders are ethically and legally bound to protect personal information in every way possible. This protection of information allows people to give information to the OCPHO and public health teams in a safe way. Protecting personal information keeps all of us safe.

Attribution

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

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