Tuktoyaktuk has been placed under a 10-day containment order as COVID cases spread in the community.
There are now 16 active cases in Tuktoyaktuk, a number that was at four on Sunday night.
During the outbreaks in other communities including Behchokǫ̀ and Fort Good Hope, a major challenge was enough housing to accommodate those needing to self-isolate.
Tuktoyaktuk Mayor Erwin Elias said this will likely be a similar situation in his community.
“We’re gonna have to be reaching out to the housing department and whatever departments it takes to try and accommodate if we run into the situation,” he says, “but right now we don’t have proper facilities.”
Elias said the community had previously planned to use the Mangilaluk School in the case of an outbreak, but the school is currently under renovations.
However, he added there have been conversation with the territorial government and expects they will get all the resources they need.
Elias said a large number of people need to be tested which has made the situation difficult.
“Everybody knows this is the first time COVID has hit our community. So there is some concern,” he says.
Dr. James Talbot is the acting deputy chief public health officer.
He says it’s unclear how COVID got into the community, but with the outbreak in the nearby Yukon, he expects that might be the cause.
Tuktoyaktuk’s vaccination rate of 72 per cent fully vaccinated is good, Dr. Talbot says, but can be better.
The containment order requires remote learning for Mangilaluk School, which was already implemented.
Essential services will remain open with limitations, the release says.
The containment order is scheduled to be in place until Nov. 19 unless extended.