Fort Liard placed under 2-week containment order to prevent COVID-19 outbreak

The hamlet of Fort Liard, N.W.T., was placed under a two-week containment order as of 10 p.m. on Saturday.

N.W.T. chief public health officer issues order after 3 cases confirmed in community

The N.W.T. chief public health officer has issued a two-week containment order for the hamlet of Fort Liard. (Alex Brockman/CBC)

The hamlet of Fort Liard, N.W.T., was placed under a two-week containment order as of 10 p.m. on Saturday.

Dr. Kami Kandola, the territory's chief public health officer, issued a verbal public health order "mandating containment measures in the Hamlet of Fort Liard for 14 days to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Two new cases of COVID-19 have also been discovered in the community. Both are linked to the first case identified earlier on Saturday. There are now three cases of COVID-19 in the community.

Effective immediately and for 14 days from Saturday, the following restrictions are in effect in Fort Liard:

  • No gatherings of any kind at a private residence — with the exception of caregivers providing care to an individual in a private residence or regularly-scheduled child-care arrangements in a private residence. This includes indoor and outdoor gatherings.
  • Non-essential businesses and facilities must close, including community centres.
  • Essential businesses and facilities shall remain open with no more than 10 people permitted in an indoor location at a time.
  • Offices may remain open — provided they have no more than 10 people in an indoor location at a time and physical distancing of two metres apart can be maintained.
  • Daycares may remain open to the children of essential workers only.
  • Schools are closed to in-person learning.
  • All people must wear masks in any public indoor spaces — unless otherwise allowed by the chief public health officer.

Non-essential travel in or out of Fort Liard is also discouraged.

All businesses other than grocery stores, gas stations, social and family service facilities and child-care facilities must close.

"Public health has assessed the risk for further transmission in the community as high due to a significant number of close contacts for confirmed cases of COVID-19," Kandola said in a news release Saturday evening.

"With larger numbers of contacts comes more chances for infection and outbreak. While contact tracing and targeted testing is ongoing, the large number of contacts in the community requires strong, decisive action to bring the situation under control through at least one incubation period."

According to the news release, a rapid response team is at work in the community.

N.W.T. Premier Caroline Cochrane will hold a special briefing at noon on Sunday to address the developing situation in Fort Liard. CBC North will carry the event live.