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Containment order issued for Fort Good Hope, Colville Lake as Sahtu COVID-19 cluster grows

Fort Good Hope now has one confirmed case and five probable cases of COVID-19, Colville Lake has two confirmed cases, Deline has one probable case and Yellowknife has four probable cases, according to Sunday news release. 

1 probable case in Deline, 4 probable cases in Yellowknife prompt 10-day lockdown for 2 communities

The order mandates containment measures for 10 days to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in what the territory's chief public health officer referred to as the 'Sahtu cluster' in a news release Sunday evening. (NIAID Integrated Research Facility/Reuters)

A containment ordered was issued Sunday for Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake, N.W.T., after cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in both communities, and probable cases were identified in Deline and Yellowknife. 

The order mandates containment measures for 10 days to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in what the territory's chief public health officer referred to as the "Sahtu cluster" in a news release Sunday evening. 

Fort Good Hope now has one confirmed case and five probable cases of COVID-19; Colville Lake has two confirmed cases; Deline has one probable case; and Yellowknife has four probable cases. 

Dr. Kami Kandola also reported two new cases of COVID-19 unrelated to the Sahtu cluster: one in a non-resident worker in Norman Wells, and another in a non-resident worker in Hay River. 

The news represents the first public exposure of COVID-19 in the territory since the outbreak at Yellowknife's N.J. Macpherson School was declared over in mid-June

Handgames tournament an exposure location

Sunday evening's news release points to the handgames tournament in Fort Good Hope  Aug. 5-9 as a possible exposure location. 

Effective immediately, and for 10 days starting Sunday, anyone who was not fully vaccinated and was in Fort Good Hope or Colville Lake between Aug. 5 to 15 should isolate for 10 days and arrange for COVID-19 testing. Anyone who was vaccinated but visited those communities in the same time frame should self-monitor for symptoms starting now, and arrange for COVID-19 testing at the first sign of any symptoms. 

For people in Colville Lake and Fort Good Hope, the containment order means that: 

  • Masks are now mandatory in public indoor places.
  • No gatherings in homes or public places are allowed, except for people who care for others or provide childcare.
  • No outdoors gatherings with anyone you do not live with are allowed.
  • All non-essential businesses (excluding gas stations, grocery stores and healthcare services) must close.
  • Offices may remain open only if they have fewer than 10 people who can maintain physical distance.
  • Daycares may remain open. 

While not part of the containment order, travel in and out of the two communities is "strongly discouraged." 

A rapid response team is already on the ground to support local health officials, Kandola said.

The chief public health officer asks everyone to stay home if even a little bit sick, and get tested for COVID-19 at the first sign of sickness. 

Sunday's news release did not say whether the confirmed cases relate to one of the variants of concern, something that is usually confirmed later with further lab tests.  

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