Students in Behchokǫ̀ and Gamètì will be waiting another week before they return to the classroom due to the positive COVID cases in both communities.
Linsey Hope, Tłı̨chǫ director of education, says the initial start date of the school year was Aug. 30, but has now been moved to Sept. 7 for Jean Wetrade Gamètì School, Chief Jimmy Bruneau Regional High School and Elizabeth Mackenzie Elementary School.
“This is a precaution because we have unvaccinated children going to school,” says Behchokǫ̀ Chief Clifford Daniels.
Gamètì Chief Doreen Arrowmaker told CKLB on Thursday, there were discussions around delaying the start date of school.
Ted Blondin, the board director of the Tlicho Community Services Agency (TCSA), says the decision was made for the safety or the students, staff and community.
Schools in Wekweètì and Whatì will still begin on Aug. 30. Blondin says students attending school in Wekweètì and Whatì will need to continue following the guidelines set out by the NWT chief public health officer.
Gamètì has two active cases of COVID-19, while Behchokǫ̀ had its first case reported on Thursday.
Chief Daniels says a community member has been driving around with a megaphone to make announcements about the current COVID outbreak for those who don’t use social media.
He says no other restrictions have been implemented in the community yet, as they await more details on the outbreak.
“We’re waiting on the rest of the results because we’re having more tests, so we’ll see what that brings,” he said.
But Chief Daniels says there have been discussions around more restrictions if more cases keep emerging.
He says he is encouraging people to get tested and adds there is a vaccination clinic in the community on Friday.