Three Presumptive Positive COVID-19 Test Results in NWT (Update)

News Type: 

No indication of community transmission.


YELLOWKNIFE (October 16, 2020) – Three individuals in the Northwest Territories have received presumptive positive COVID-19 test results.

One test was received in Inuvik, while two others were received in Yellowknife. The test in Inuvik is unrelated to the two in Yellowknife.


The Yellowknife cases are related--one person traveled with subsequent transmission to a household member.

The individual who had traveled isolated. The individual who had not traveled still contracted COVID-19, and there are some contacts we are reaching out to provide the advice they need.

Exposure Risk Notification

There are two locations where some risk of exposure has been identified by public health.                                            

  • October 12 between 3 and 4:30 pm: Anytime Fitness in Yellowknife
  • October 13 between 11 am and 11:30 am: The RCMP Yellowknife Detachment public waiting area

Everyone who was in these locations at these times must self-isolate at home for the next 14 days and contact the Yellowknife Public Health Unit at 867-767-9120 to get additional advice. Those you live with must also self-isolate for 14 days 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.

Additional Drive-Thru Clinic Hours

The Yellowknife drive-thru COVID testing clinic will be open from 12-4 pm this weekend to respond to additional testing demand.


The individual started their travel in Alberta, traveled to Inuvik by road, and arrived on October 10.

The individual immediately isolated once they arrived at their final destination in accordance with the travel restrictions and self-isolation protocols. They are currently isolating safely at-home and doing well.

The initial assessment is that there were no potential contacts, though the investigation continues.

The risk of further transmission is considered to be very low at this time since precautions were taken.

Public health has determined there are no concerns for exposure along the route which was traveled at this time. 

Why Presumptive?

There have not yet been enough positive tests completed on the analyzers to be able to declare a case confirmed immediately yet.

Follow-up tests with our partner public health laboratory in Edmonton are therefore required for confirmation purposes.

As with any presumptive positive case, public health is investigating and managing these cases as though they were already confirmed.  

What’s Next?

The GNWT will update with new information on the investigation when we have the results for the follow-up tests.


All commentary is attributable to Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Delli-Pizzi.

Relevant links