City of Yellowknife issues update on its plans to be ready for potential coronavirus outbreak

Yellowknife City Hall (File photo/CKLB)

The City of Yellowknife, which has both a manager of public safety and an emergency preparedness manager, says it is doing what it can to be ready in case coronavirus comes to the city.

In a news release issued Thursday, the city states that as the Novel Coronavirus: COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve around the world, the City of Yellowknife is  working with partners to manage potential impacts within our community.

This includes working with the Government of the Northwest Territories and residents to plan for and mitigate impacts, and ensure continuity of local essential services, the release states.

The city has not said what specific duties its safety and emergency managers are performing during this outbreak.

“The City’s Public Safety Department, which includes the Emergency Management Division, leads the City’s response to COVID-19, using the City’s Emergency Management Plan that coordinates its response to any major emergency,” stated Alison Harrower, city spokesperson, in an email to CKLB Wednesday.

Thursday’s release states that the GNWT Department of Health and Social Services is the lead for information and response to pandemic planning in the NWT, and the city continues to work with those officials and follow their advice.

Yellowknifers are asked to do their part by following best practices recommended by Dr. Kami Kandola, Chief Public Health Officer, such as washing your hands often with soap and water (or hand sanitizer) and staying home if you are sick.

The city states it is calling upon residents to follow this advice and take care of others in the community should they become infected.

“As Yellowknifers we help one another and look out for each other.  I encourage everyone to get informed and do your part to protect yourself, your family and friends, as well as our community,” states Mayor Rebecca Alty.”

The city’s senior administrative officer (SAO), Sheila Bassi-Kellett has confirmed the city is taking special measures to help keep city facilities and work spaces virus free through increased cleaning and sanitizing efforts by staff and janitorial contractors.

No events, programs or services are being cancelled at this time, the release states, but the city will continue to engage with the chief public health officer on this and monitor the situation closely.

If residents are seeking options for social distancing, they are asked to consider taking advantage of the City’s Virtual City Hall and eServices to make payments and register for programs; residents can also call 920-5600 to make payments via credit card or use the after-hours drop box at City Hall to pay by cheque.

For more information and important links, log on to the city’s website

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.