NWT-wide public health emergency and state of emergency extended

The territorial government has extended the public health emergency and state of emergency until April 28.

The government can only extend the states of emergency for two weeks at a time.

This is the second time Health and Social Services Minister Diane Thom extends the public health emergency.

Doing so allows current measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to continue, including restrictions on travel and gatherings.

In a news release, the GNWT said, “Keeping ahead of the spread is the best way to stay as close to this trajectory possible, and is one way to limit the time strict measures are required for NWT residents.”

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola has repeatedly said she is unlikely to lift the restrictions until there fewer cases being reported in the rest of Canada.

At a news conference on Wednesday, she said the measures may seem overblown for only five cases.

However, she justified the measures saying, “This is not a small number as it first appeared in a population of only 45,000. In responding to a pandemic, you only get one shot at containment and to make that shot, you need to act fast and you need to act early. Otherwise, it can get away from you very quickly. That’s why we’re asking NWT residents and businesses to do so much right now, to seize our opportunity for containment while we still have time and get us through the hardest part sooner.”

The GNWT also released an update on the number of complaints and self-isolation plans.

So far, there have been 255 complaints with 189 closed, 24 closed due to a lack of information and 42 ongoing.

There have also been nearly 2,500 self-isolation plans submitted since Dr. Kandola made it mandatory in March.

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis has been a general news reporter with CKLB since January 2019. Originally from rural Ontario, he first came to the NWT in 2016 as an intern with Up Here magazine and fell in love with the North. In his time with CKLB, he's had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures. Otherwise, you can find him hanging around the Legislative Assembly. If you have a story or want to chat, reach out to francis@cklbradio.com