Containment Order issued for Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake, public health investigation update

Press Release

The Office of Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) is currently reporting the following COVID-19 update on confirmed/probable infections related to travel to the communities of Fort Good Hope or Colville Lake:

  • Fort Good Hope: one confirmed case, five probable cases
  • Colville Lake: two confirmed cases
  • Deline: One probable case
  • Yellowknife: Four probable cases

There is a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in an out of territory worker in Norman Wells, not connected to the Sahtu cluster.

There is an out of territory worker diagnosed with COVID-19 in Hay River, with no public exposures identified. Contact tracing was completed. Not related to Sahtu cluster.

Containment Order Issued

The OCPHO has issued a local containment order for Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake. The Public Health Order is pursuant to s.29 of the Public Health Act and mandates containment measures for 10 days to prevent further COVID-19 transmission.

What this means for individuals

Effective immediately, and continuing for 10 days starting today, the following measures are in effect for anyone who was in Fort Good Hope or Colville Lake between August 5, 2021 to August 15, 2021:

Not fully vaccinated

 

Fully vaccinated residents (received final dose of vaccine previous to July 22, 2021)
Isolate for ten days starting today Self-monitor for ten days starting today
Contact health centre to arrange testing. At the first sign of becoming symptomatic, contact health centre to arrange testing.
Please note: this also applies to anyone who attended the handgames event between Aug. 5-9 in Fort Good Hope, but resides in another community and is not fully vaccinated. Please note: this also applies to anyone who attended the handgames event between Aug. 5-9 in Fort Good Hope, but resides in another community who is fully vaccinated.

What else you can do to stay safe

The two most important things to do are follow the requirements of this public health order, and be especially vigilant in sticking to the healthy habits we know work to stop COVID-19:

  • Self-isolate whenever required
  • Prioritize physical distance of at least six feet between yourself and others
  • Wear your mask when you’re in public
  • Stay home even if you’re a little bit sick
  • Call the local health centre and get tested for COVID-19 at the first sign of sickness
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cough or sneeze into a flexed elbow or tissue

What this means for the communities of Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake

Effective immediately, and continuing for 10 days starting today, the following measures are in effect within Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake:

  • No gatherings at any time in homes or in public places. Exceptions include people caring for others in their homes or who provide regularly scheduled childcare.
  • No gathering outdoors with anyone you do not live with.
  • Non-essential businesses and facilities must close – including community centres and schools.
  • Essential businesses and facilities shall remain open with no more than 10 persons  permitted in an indoor location at one time.
  • Offices may remain open provided they have no more than 10 persons in an indoor location, and physical distance of 2 metres can be maintained.
  • Daycares may remain open to the children of essential workers only.
  • All persons shall wear masks in any public indoor spaces, unless otherwise approved by the Chief Public Health Officer. For more information see “if there is a masking order”: https://www.gov.nt.ca/covid-19/en/services/vaccination-testing/isolation-those-diagnosed-exposed-or-tested-covid-19

While not part of the containment order, non-essential travel into and out of the communities of Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake is strongly discouraged.

Remote work should be encouraged wherever possible.

What needs to close?

The following types of businesses and facilities must close:

  • All non-essential businesses and facilities, including community and youth centres, and schools.

What is an essential business or facility?

Under the containment order, essential businesses and facilities which may remain open are:

  • Grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Facilities offering health services, social support, and childcare (including home-based childcare)
  • Essential businesses or facilities shall follow any further directions or orders of the Chief Public Health Officer as may be provided from time to time.

Reasons for issuing containment order

  • Public health has assessed the risk for further transmission in Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake as high due to a significant number of close contacts for confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the handgames event help between Aug. 5-9, 2021.
  • With a large numbers of unvaccinated contacts in these communities, there is a higher chance of infection in all residents, but especially those unvaccinated.
  • While contact tracing and targeted testing is ongoing, the large number of contacts in the community requires strong, decisive action to bring the situation under control.

Supports in community

These measures are not easy.

The GNWT is working with both Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake to support emergency response needs in the event residents need support during this time.

Regular updates on the situation and about community supports will be provided in North Slavey and English on CKLB radio.

Residents can also continue to access mental health and addictions support they regularly access. They should contact their care provider to discuss how accessing those services may change to protect against COVID-19 transmission.

Actions taken

A rapid response team is on-the-ground in the community supporting local health officials on contact tracing and targeted testing to identify any potential exposures to, and cases of, COVID-19 in both communities.

Attribution

All commentary is attributable to Dr. Kami Kandola, Chief Public Health Officer for the Northwest Territories.

Relevant links

Media Contact

Dawn Ostrem

Manager, COVID Communications

COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat

Department of Health and Social Services

Government of the Northwest Territories

dawn_ostrem@gov.nt.ca(link sends e-mail)

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