COVID-19 cases in Behchokǫ̀ expected to rise again: health minister

(File photo/CKLB)

The cause of the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Behchokǫ̀ is still unknown and health officials say they expect the case count to continue to rise.

In a press conference, Premier Caroline Cochrane, Health and Social Services Minister Julie Green, and Behchokǫ̀ Chief Clifford Daniels addressed media on the recent outbreak and the supports being taken to mitigate further exposure.  

Chief Daniels is concerned for what this might mean for his community as they undergo a containment order for the next two weeks.

He asks his community to stay home, wash their hands, wear a mask and keep socially distanced.

Among other things, don’t travel and get vaccinated, he adds.

Six health staff are confirmed to be working in the community at this time, doing things like contact tracing, COVID tests and vaccinations.

These support services will be available tomorrow 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the recreation centre.

Out of the 12 new cases reported the number of households affected in the community is also unknown.

ICU beds considered a ‘variable’

CKLB has previously reported that the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services has increased the number of intensive care beds from four to six.

Green says it’s difficult to know how many beds are occupied at any given time, but if NWT residents need care Alberta will ‘continue to assist us.’

If the situation worsens, Chief Daniels says community governments are prepared to take patients within gymnasiums or arenas.

In addition, the COVID Secretariat will be sending three enforcement officers into the community to assist with enforcement and  provide six months’ worth of personal protective equipment (PPE).

A help line is available  at 867-997-3141 from the hours of 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Containment order in the community is set to expire on Sept. 22.

Thursday evening, public health announced an additional 20 cases across the territory, bringing the total active cases among NWT residents to 121.

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. Mariah is excited to begin her journey and career in Yellowknife, NWT, and get involved with the community. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at mariah.caruso@cklbradio.com