COVID-19 case identified in Inuvik, public exposure notice issued for Saturday flight

Those in identified rows who have not been contacted should continue to self-isolate at home for 14 days after arrival, as required, along with household members, if they are not in a self-contained unit.

Exposure notice for flight from Edmonton that had multiple stops in the territory

There is a public exposure notice of COVID-19 for a Canadian North flight from Edmonton on Saturday, which had multiple stops in the N.W.T. (Jordan Konek/CBC)

NOTE: In the afternoon of April 27, the N.W.T. government added row 13 on the Edmonton to Yellowknife leg of flight 5T 244 on April 24 to its exposure notice. The addition was made after the chief public health officer got new information about a plane change in Edmonton. Previously, the exposure notice only applied to rows 14-20 on that leg. This story has been updated to reflect that change.

A COVID-19 infection has been reported in Inuvik, N.W.T., prompting a public exposure notice for a flight from Edmonton which had multiple stops in the territory. 

It was confirmed by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer Monday evening in a news release.

The case is related to out-of-territory domestic travel. The infected person is self-isolating and doing well, the release says.

There are now nine active cases of COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories, six of which are in Yellowknife and two in Fort Smith, N.W.T.

All positive cases in N.W.T. are sent to southern labs to test for a variant of concern. Health authorities say they will update the public if any cases are determined to be a variant.

Potential exposure notice for Canadian North flight

A potential public exposure to COVID-19 is being issued for Canadian North flight 5T 244 on Saturday from Edmonton, with flight stops in Yellowknife, Norman Wells and Inuvik.

The territory says public health worked with the airline to get flight manifests and is reaching out to passengers who may have been sitting in affected rows.

The affected rows include:

  • Rows 13-20 from Edmonton to Yellowknife.
  • Rows 7-13 from Yellowknife to Norman Wells.
  • Rows 7-13 from Norman Wells to Inuvik.

Health officials say only those in the rows identified are considered to have an exposure risk.

"No one else on the airplane is at risk of exposure. This is based on the expert assessment of the Public Health Agency of Canada," the release says.

Those in identified rows who have not been contacted should continue to self-isolate at home for 14 days after arrival, as required, along with household members, if they are not in a self-contained unit.

Anyone in a seat indicated above should contact their local health centre to identify being a possible contact seated in an affected row and arrange for COVID-19 testing.

Diavik Diamond Mine outbreak over

The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer has also declared the outbreak at Diavik Diamond Mine, which started on April 3, to be over.

The last person to develop symptoms of COVID-19 while employed at Diavik Diamond Mine was on March 29, the release said.

There were two confirmed cases related to the outbreak and both people were out-of-territory workers infected with the B.1.1.7 variant. Both individuals are recovered, the release says.

The mine, located approximately 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, has several additional measures in place due to the outbreak including increased mask use (using masks at all times unless eating, drinking or alone in dorm rooms), the closure of recreation facilities and communal areas, and rapid antigen testing prior to boarding flights and tests throughout the time at the camp.

Both resident and non-resident rotational workers on mineral and petroleum projects in the N.W.T. are being vaccinated as well.

"The decision to vaccinate non-resident rotational workers is supported by the federal government and is occurring in other jurisdictions across Canada reliant on transitional workers to deliver essential service," the release says.

"Recent remote worksite outbreaks in the N.W.T. and the development of new COVID-19 variants in other parts of Canada have highlighted the importance of protecting rotational workers living and working inside our borders."