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N.W.T. confirms 4 new COVID-19 cases in Fort Smith, linked to 1 household

Four new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Fort Smith, N.W.T. on Thursday. A presumptive positive COVID-19 case in an employee at Diavik Diamond Mine announced on Wednesday was also confirmed Thursday.

New cases linked to another announced Wednesday; community now has 5 cases

The town sign in Fort Smith, N.W.T. The community has 5 cases of COVID-19, all from one household. (Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada)

Four new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Fort Smith, N.W.T., on Thursday.

According to a government new release issued Thursday afternoon, the cases are linked to household transmission from a confirmed positive case in the town announced on Wednesday. The community now has five positive cases.

The initial case was connected to travel outside the territory.

The release says the infected people are continuing to isolate and recover at home.

There are no outstanding contacts in the N.W.T., according to the territory's investigation, and there is no public risk identified for any other communities in the territory or recent air travelers.

Mine case confirmed

A presumptive positive COVID-19 case in an employee at Diavik Diamond Mine announced on Wednesday was also confirmed Thursday.

All contacts are isolating on-site, the news release says, while public health authorities work with the mine's medical staff to monitor the situation.

The territory says there is no indication of an outbreak, nor any additional risk identified to N.W.T. communities.

"While there is a natural anxiety which comes from seeing additional cases, the most important thing to remember is that the risk has not changed for the general public," the release says. "To keep yourself and others safe, it is important to continue to practice the healthy habits we all know work."

That includes maintaining physical distance of at least six feet from others, wearing a non-medical mask in public, keeping crowds small, washing hands frequently and staying home if feeling sick, even if it's mild.

The territory also says people should get assessed for COVID-19 testing if they have any symptoms, and to be a "responsible self-isolator whenever required."

"Until there is an effective, available treatment or vaccine, there will always be risk but we can always take some control over our risk by practicing these healthy habits every day," the release says.

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