North

MLA Steve Norn identifies himself as one of 2 COVID-19 cases in Yellowknife

A member of the N.W.T. Legislature says he and a family member are the two people with COVID-19 in Yellowknife. 

'Given my public role, I have chosen to identify myself,' says Norn in a statement

MLA for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh Steve Norn pictured at the N.W.T. Legislative Assembly. Norn has identified himself and a family member as the two positive COVID-19 cases in Yellowknife, after he took trip to Alberta for a family emergency. (Sara Minogue/CBC)

A member of the N.W.T. Legislature says he and a family member are the two people with COVID-19 in Yellowknife. 

In a statement released late Thursday night, Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh MLA Steve Norn said he tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, April 21. 

He said he had gone to Alberta by car for a family emergency on April 1 and returned later on April 4, after filing a self-isolation plan. 

Norn said he did not have any symptoms at the time, but decided to get tested after COVID-19 was detected in the wastewater in Yellowknife. The Chief Public Health Officer had asked that anyone who was self-isolating or self-monitoring from April 14 to 17 get tested.

"Given my public role, I have chosen to identify myself, however I do ask that people respect my family's privacy as we move forward," said Norn in the release.

According to a public Facebook post, Norn has received at least one dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, on March 26.

Norn also said a family member has the second case of COVID-19 in Yellowknife, which was announced Thursday. 

Public health said 40 contacts have been identified, and the individual is involved with a school in Yellowknife. 

Exposure at St. Patrick's High School

Yellowknife Catholic Schools confirmed on Twitter it was St. Patrick's High School in Yellowknife that received the COVID-19 positive exposure notice.

Health officials say their investigation so far does not "indicate an outbreak."

The school is continuing to follow the recommendations of the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer including physical distancing and masking, along with regular cleaning and sanitizing, according to Simone Gessler, superintendent with Yellowknife Catholic Schools.

"Our students are kept in bubbles. If they move to a different space then ... the area is cleaned before the students come in and before they leave," said Gessler. "That's a daily practice."

Classes have resumed as usual and all people affected have been contacted and are in self-isolation, she said.

Gessler was not able to provide details on how many classrooms were affected by the exposure, but did say the attached elementary school — Weledeh Catholic School — has not been impacted.

"Our message is the message that we have been provided ... by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer, that we are safe to return to school. All the pieces that are required to be actioned have been actioned."

If parents have any concerns they can speak to Public Health or ProtectNWT, she added.

Contacts identified at Yellowknife Racquet Club

On Friday morning, the Yellowknife Racquet Club announced that a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 entered the facility on April 18th.

"We have been very lucky to have a close and open relationship with the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer along with Yellowknife Public Health and were able to very quickly help both of these teams identify a small group of contacts," the Facebook post reads.

Anyone with potential contact with the person with this confirmed case has already been contacted by Yellowknife Public Health and is asked to please follow the direction given to them, it says.

People can get tested in Yellowknife by booking an appointment at the COVID-19 testing centre at 108 Archibald Street or online.

There are extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

with files from Liny Lamberink

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