North

Tuktoyaktuk starts returning to 'normal' amid N.W.T.'s 1st reopening phase

The hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., has started to reopen some of its facilities, as restrictions in the territory start easing up. 

Hamlet's gym now open to 1 person at a time, and bingo has started again

The Tuktoyaktuk shoreline is shown in September, months before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the community. The hamlet has started to reopen some of its facilities, as restrictions in the territory start easing up. (Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada )

The hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., has started to reopen some of its facilities as restrictions in the territory start easing.

The community's new gym had only been open for a few months, but it was closed during the COVID-19 shutdown. Now, residents can go there, but only one person can go in at a time and they must register to use it.

Ryan Yakeleya, the hamlet's deputy mayor, said the new gym is getting a lot of positive feedback.

"It's good for people who want to get back into shape or give them something to do or bulk up," he said. "It's a good opportunity for the people … it gets COVID[-19] off their mind." 

The Northwest Territories is currently in the first phase of its "Emerging Wisely" reopening plan, in which personal training and the use of gyms by appointment are allowed. Gyms can run group outdoor classes, but cannot run classes indoors.

The community's new gym had opened earlier this year, but it was closed due to the pandemic. (Submitted by Shawn Stuckey)

In the second phase of the territory's reopening plan, expected to begin late next month, gyms will be allowed to open with physical distancing and enhanced disinfection measures.  

Softball in Tuktoyaktuk should be restarting soon, and Yakeleya said the popular pastime of radio bingo has made a return to the hamlet. People can get their bingo cards at the community radio station.

Yakeleya said the hamlet is doing its due diligence, and people are doing their part to make sure they are following public health orders as the community reopens.

"This is a new thing and everybody's doing their part, especially with the hamlet, and the local community corps, hunters [and] trappers … it's all going good so far," he said.

With files from Mackenzie Scott

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