Exposure notice issued after 1 COVID-19 case confirmed in Yellowknife

The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer says the infection is related to domestic travel outside the Northwest Territories, in a news release Wednesday evening.

The case is related to travel outside N.W.T, according to Dr. Kami Kandola, chief public health officer

One case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Yellowknife on Wednesday evening. (NIAID Integrated Research Facility/Reuters)

A COVID-19 exposure alert has been issued after a case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Yellowknife Wednesday.

Anyone who was at the Taste of Saigon restaurant in Yellowknife on April 19 between 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. is asked to self-isolate at home for the next 14 days and contact Yellowknife public health at 867-767-9120. 

Household members must also self-isolate for 14 days if it's not possible to safely self-isolate at home away from them. Anyone self-isolating must monitor themselves for symptoms closely.

Dr. Kami Kandola, the territory's chief public health officer, said the infection is related to domestic travel outside the Northwest Territories, in a news release Wednesday evening.

The individual is self-isolating and doing well, she says.

The territory sends a sample of the virus detected from all those diagnosed with COVID-19 to its southern lab partners to test whether the case is a variant.

At this time, the investigation is ongoing and the local public health unit is conducting follow up. Kandola said in the release that any identified contacts will be notified and provided support. 

If symptoms do develop, no matter how mild, Kandola says, you are asked to contact the Yellowknife Public Health Unit to be assessed.

Symptoms include:

  • 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.

Those experiencing shortness of breath at-rest should call 9-1-1 and let operator know you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The infected person was tested after the territory issued an advisory on Monday when wastewater surveillance revealed undetected cases of COVID-19.

At the time, the territory asked for anyone who had travelled outside the N.W.T. and who was self-isolating or self-monitoring in Yellowknife from April 14-17 to get tested.

"An undetected infection of COVID-19 uncovered in less than 48 hours is a positive development as the territory works to ensure risk of community transmission is contained in the City of Yellowknife," Kandola said in the release.

"However, the advisory from April 19 remains in place."

More diagnostic testing and additional wastewater analysis is needed to "confidently assess" if there remains a risk of community transmission.

Kandola says it's important for anyone with symptoms to come forward now for testing.

"Get a swab, get it now," she said in the news release.

The release also says if a person has no exposures or travel history in the last two weeks, they can go back to regular activities if the test shows a negative result, and as long as they have no fever, and symptoms have improved.

People can book tests online here.