N.W.T. reports 19 new COVID-19 cases

The case count in the N.W.T. stands at 236 Wednesday. Territorial officials announced the extension of public heath measures in the communities with the most cases, Yellowknife, Dettah, Ndilǫ, Behchokǫ̀ and Whatì.

Territorial case counts stands at 236, a decrease of five from Tuesday

N.W.T. officials are reporting 19 new cases of COVID-19 across the territory on the day it announced the extension of public health orders in the communities with the most cases. (NIAID Integrated Research Facility/Reuters)

The Northwest Territories is reporting 19 new cases of COVID-19 across the territory Wednesday.

The overall number of cases in the N.W.T. stands at 236, a decrease of five from Tuesday.

There are 143 cases in Yellowknife, Dettah and Ndilǫ, which accounts for 60 per cent of the cases in the territory.

Earlier Wednesday, Dr. Kami Kandola, the territory's chief public officer, said during a news conference that she is extending the public health order and increasing the restrictions on gatherings she issued for the area for another 10 days, beginning at midnight on Sept. 24.

Indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people while outdoor gatherings will have a maximum of 25 people. The limits apply to all non-essential businesses and organizations. Kandola said the exemptions granted to non-essential businesses and organizations will no longer be valid once the extension comes into effect.

She added that schools will remain closed to in-person learning during the extension.

There are 54 cases in Behchokǫ̀, an increase of three from Tuesday, and 22 cases in Whatì, a decrease of eight in the past day.

Kandola also on Wednesday extended the containment order for both communities. Behchokǫ̀'s containment will be in effect until Oct. 7 and Whatì's until Oct. 9

"The sheer volume of cases means it's difficult to determine the full extent of the situation in Behchokǫ̀, Whatì, Yellowknife, Dettah and Ndilǫ," said Premier Caroline Cochrane, as she explained why Kandola and the territorial government decided to implement the extensions of the public health orders. 

Cochrane said Kandola determined it was "unlikely" the number of cases would decrease without further restrictions.

Kandola said the extensions will allow many people who have COVID-19 to recover from it.

"I anticipate this will be the only extension required," Kandola said.

Other communities that have cases include Hay River and K'atl'odeeche First Nation with nine and Fort Good Hope, Délı̨nę, Norman Wells, Łutsel Kʼe, and Fort Liard, each with one.

There is also one case at the NWT Power Corporation's Snare Hydro System worksite, as well as at the Diavik diamond mine and the Gahcho Kué diamond mine.