North

No active cases of COVID-19 in N.W.T. as final patient recovers

The territory's health authorities announced all five confirmed cases of COVID-19 had recovered as of Monday morning.

The last case of COVID-19 was reported on April 5

The territory announced all five COVID-19 patients have recovered in a Facebook post Monday. (NIAID Integrated Research Facility/Reuters)

The Northwest Territories has no active cases of COVID-19 as of Monday morning, according to the territorial government.

All five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the territory have recovered as of Monday at 9 a.m., according to the territorial government's website.

The territory's last confirmed case was announced on April 5, related to an individual who had recently travelled to Latin America and immediately self-isolated upon return. The first case in the territory was reported on March 21, after an individual returned home to Yellowknife following a trip to B.C. and Alberta.

The territory does not consider cases recovered until the patient has received two negative tests, 24 hours apart.

The news is a success for health authorities' efforts to eliminate the spread of the disease through border closuresmandatory self-isolation measures, and strict limits on public gatherings.

To date, the territory has conducted more than 1,500 tests, the highest per capita rate in the country.

No modelling on possible spread

The territory's five cases of COVID-19 have all been related to travel. Three were identified in Yellowknife, one in Inuvik, and one in an unnamed "small community," later identified as Fort Resolution.

Health officials continue to describe the risk posed by COVID-19 in the territory as "high," and have said restrictions on travel and gatherings will remain in place until the rest of Canada sees a marked decline in cases.

In an email to CBC News, a spokesperson for the department of Health and Social Services said, with so few cases, health authorities couldn't produce accurate models of how an outbreak of COVID-19 would affect the territory's health providers.

"We do not currently have a large enough sample size to provide this kind of data," the spokesperson wrote. "It has a lot to do with the fact we do not yet have any evidence of community transmission – meaning all our cases thus far have been imported from travel."

In early April, officials confirmed the territory had 19 ventilators, and six beds in intensive care units.

With files from Anna Desmarais

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