Residents now able to self-isolate in Fort Simpson, Norman Wells

(File photo/CKLB)

Residents returning to the territory can now self-isolate in Fort Simpson and Norman Wells. 

This was announced by Premier Caroline Cochrane and NWT Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola in a press conference on Thursday.

Cochrane says she spoke with the chiefs and mayors of both communities, Dehcho First Nation Grand Chief Gladys Norwegian and Sahtu Secretariat Inc. Chairperson Charles McNeely, before making the decision. 

“In general they are all ecstatic, they know their residents have been asking to be around their families,” she says.

Previously, anyone entering the territory — except essential workers — were required to self-isolate for 14 days in Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik or Yellowknife.

The decision to expand the self-isolation centres comes as both communities receive second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Kandola says the vaccination rate along with adequate medical resources, active wastewater surveillance, and regional compliance and enforcement officers located in the communities were all factored into the decision.  

She added that other communities interested in allowing residents to self-isolate can reach out to her, but a risk assessment will need to be completed before approval. 

The territory remains in stage two of the Emerging Wisely Plan; Dr. Kandola said it could enter stage three in late spring.

The NWT is aiming to vaccinate 75 per cent of eligible adults by then, currently 44 per cent have received at least one dose.

About the Author

Luke Carroll
Luke Carroll is a journalist originally from Brockville, Ont. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor in Ottawa, Halifax and New Brunswick. Luke is a graduate of Carleton University's bachelor of journalism program. If you have a story idea, feel free to send him an email at