GNWT still investigating COVID-19 in three separate communities

Dr. Kami Kandola addressing the media in the Legislative Assembly on COVID-19. (Mariah Caruso/CKLB)

Health officials are still investigating the recent cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

NWT officials gathered at the Legislative Assembly to discuss the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Fort Liard, the mysterious case found in Yellowknife and the wastewater sample identified in Hay River, among other things.

The briefing is part of the territory’s regular bi-weekly COVID-19 updates.

This comes after the territorial government extended the public health emergency for the 22nd time.

Dr. Kami Kandola, chief public health officer, was joined by Premier Caroline Cochrane and Julie Green, Health and Social Services minister, on Jan. 19.

“We haven’t made it this far on luck,” says Cochrane.

Since Saturday night, Fort-Liard has been placed under a mandatory two-week lockdown.

The community enters its fourth day of lockdown, as cases were identified over the weekend. Tuesday afternoon, the territory confirmed the two probable cases found in Fort Liard on Monday.

Dr.Kandola said there is a “high probability” that the positive waste water signal in Hay River is connected to the new cluster of cases in Fort Liard.

Roughly 50 people in the community are isolating and that number is holding steady, says Dr. Kandola, meaning the likelihood of more active cases is high.

Fort Liard’s lockdown expires on Jan. 30 at 10 p.m.

The territorial government is still unsure of the cause of the mysterious case of COVID-19 in Yellowknife.

Health officials in Hay River have performed 189 COVID-19 tests there since Jan. 13.

Isolation help

Premier Caroline Cochrane encourages residents to still reach out for assistance if they are unable to afford or to access proper isolation.

In the event that a resident is “stuck” and or unable to pay their isolation fees, she says, “We definitely don’t want people to be putting the community at risk, contact us and we’ll see what we can do to help.”

“We’re not here to penalize people,” says Cochrane.

There’s a total of 30 confirmed cases in the territory, with 24 listed as recovered.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. On her spare time, you can find her at your local coffee shop writing songs, poetry and prose or at the gym out-lifting men. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at or call 867-766-2552 Ext 108