CPHO loosens restrictions on indoor gatherings

Up to 200 can now gather inside without needing approval from the CPHO.

Chief Public Health Offier Dr. Kami Kandola speaks to the media at about an evolving COVID-19 situation in Fort Liard. (Photo by Luke Carroll/ CKLB Radio)

Indoor gatherings of up to 200 people are officially allowed as the territory’s chief public health officer (CPHO) loosened another restriction. 

The announcement was made in a press release issued Tuesday afternoon. 

Previously, indoor gatherings of up to 200 people needed approval by the CPHO.

Previous indoor restrictions limited 25 people to a public space and 10 people to a private home. 

Some high risk events including funerals, live singing and handgames tournaments will still require additional approvals. 

In a press conference Dr. Kami Kandola, CPHO, also encouraged residents to be strategic about how they follow the new restrictions. For example she encouraged birthday parties for children under the age of vaccine requirements, to be held outside.

“This is about making good choices for you, your family and your communities,” she said.

But Dr. Kandola says she expects all requirements to be gone by fall 2021, which would mean a normal school year for students. 

As of Tuesday 66 per cent of NWT residents have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine while 72 per cent have received one dose. 

The announcement comes a day after Dr. Kandola removed mandatory mask requirement for indoor public spaces in Behchokǫ̀, Ndilǫ, Dettah and Yellowknife.

This was implemented due to the N.J. Macpherson outbreak that Dr. Kandola declared to be over on June 14.
A public notice says, “The order requiring mandatory masking in indoor public spaces in these four communities was kept in place an additional two weeks as an extra measure until the school year was over to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep our communities healthy and safe.”

The loosening of restrictions on indoor gatherings also comes a week after self-isolation requirements were removed for fully vaccinated NWT residents.

The NWT currently has two active COVID-19 cases, one in Hay River and one in Yellowknife, related to travel outside the territory.

Dr. Kandola has also removed a Public Health Order restriction that required anyone working at a work camp in the mining industry to complete 14 days of social distancing before traveling to the workplace. 

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 luke.carroll@cklbradio.com