The office of the chief public health officer has confirmed that five out of the six current cases of COVID-19 in Yellowknife are the B.1.1.7 variant, commonly known as the U.K. variant.
The sixth case is not related to the same cluster.
The variants are known to be more contagious and severe than the original strain of the virus.
In a health advisory, the OCPHO says variants now make up the majority of new cases in Canada.
“Therefore, the NWT OCPHO is treating all new infections in the territory as (variants) until confirmed otherwise,” reads the advisory.
A sample of all positive tests is being sent to southern lab to determine whether they are variants.
The OCPHO says there are currently delays at Alberta Precision Labs to getting results as it is screening all positive Alberta tests as well.