North

N.W.T. government and YK1 move to limit work-related travel

Due to concerns of COVID-19, essential work travel within the territory will undergo a risk assessment before it is permitted, according to a government memo Thursday. 

Public health appointments and programming postponed or suspended, according to health authority

A file photo of a businessman. The N.W.T government has suspended all work-related travel outside the territory, according to an internal memo sent to employees Thursday. (Katherine Holland/CBC)

The N.W.T. government has suspended all work-related travel outside the territory, according to an internal memo sent to employees Thursday.

Essential work travel within the territory will undergo a risk assessment before it is permitted, according to the government memo. The precautions are being taken in light of the novel coronavirus, also known as the COVID-19 virus.

"This is a precautionary measure to promote the health of our public servants and help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the N.W.T.," states the information package for government employees.

Yellowknife Education District No. 1's superintendent Metro Huculak confirmed to CBC on Thursday that its employees are also suspended from work-related travel outside of Canada until the end of March break.

On Thursday afternoon, Kami Kandola, the N.W.T.'s chief public health officer, confirmed in a press conference there are still no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, in the territory. As of Thursday, 54 tests have been performed, and all came back negative. Kandola said the risk still remains low

Public health postpones, suspends services

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority sent an email update Thursday morning, stating there will be service reductions, suspension or delays in Yellowknife's public health unit, including:

  • Well-child assessments for weight, developmental milestones will be deferred. Vaccinations and appointments will continue, but shortened.
  • Routine vaccination appointments are being reviewed based on priority.
  • Breastfeeding clinic will be rescheduled, people with concerns will be connected to a nurse via phone to see if there's a need for an appointment.
  • In-school programming will be suspended until further notice, booked education-related requests will be rescheduled.
  • HPV programming for Grade 5 students the week of April 26 has been rescheduled to June 2020.
  • Community group sessions will be suspended until further notice.

The health authority said that its website "will remain our source of truth going forward," on COVID-19 updates.

The City of Yellowknife said in a press release Thursday that all of its events, programs and services remain unchanged.

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