GNT: Containment and Gathering Public Health Orders Extended

Press Release

YELLOWKNIFE September 22, 2021 – The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) is announcing extensions to three temporary Public Health Orders and the introduction of stronger gathering restrictions in Yellowknife, Dettah, and Ndilǫ.

  1. Whatì temporary COVID-19 Restrictions: extended to Oct. 9, 2021
  2. Behchokǫ̀ temporary COVID-19 Restrictions: extended to Oct. 7, 2021
  3. Covid-19 Gatherings Order-Yellowknife, Dettah, and Ndilǫ: extended to Oct. 4, 2021

All other Public Health Orders for these communities related to masking, self-isolation after travel and leisure travel are in effect unless replaced by these temporary orders.

Yellowknife, Dettah, and Ndilǫ

The 10-day extension of the COVID-19 Gatherings Order for Yellowknife, Dettah, and Ndilǫ will take effect on Sept. 24 at 11:59 pm.

It includes the following:

  • Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people.
  • Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people. This will not apply to essential businesses and facilities, provided they limit the number of in-person staff to those required to carry out operations. For more information please see Containment and Gathering Orders FAQs.
  • All previous exemptions for persons, businesses, organizations, restaurants or bars will no longer apply. Further exemptions during this 10 -day order will only be provided in exceptional circumstances to further limit the spread within Yellowknife.
  • Household gatherings will continue to be limited to five visitors at one time to a maximum of a total of 10 people.
  • Schools, colleges, and trade schools will remain closed until the expiry of the order.
  • Day cares and day homes are exempt from this order under currently approved plans that have been submitted to the OCPHO.

The CPHO is hopeful that by implementing these additional restrictions for a 10-day period it will act as a circuit breaker to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Yellowknife, allow for the safe reopening of schools, and a return to relaxed restrictions on gatherings.

Whatì and Behchokǫ̀

As some residents in both Whatì and Behchokǫ̀ recover from COVID-19, other residents remain at risk. Therefore, the CPHO is extending the temporary COVID-19 restriction orders for both communities. These orders outline what businesses and organizations need to close until community transmission of COVID-19 is controlled, and what essential business may remain open.

Isolation under a temporary COVID-19 restriction order is enforceable by law. Visiting any public place could result in an exposure to COVID-19. The CPHO is reminding residents of the following:

  • If you are contact of a case of COVID-19 and you have symptoms, you must follow the same advice as for a person with COVID-19.
  • If you are a contact of a case of COVID-19 and you do not have symptoms, you will be permitted to leave your home to go outdoors alone for fresh air. You may not interact with anyone at any time. If you develop symptoms during your isolation, you are no longer permitted to leave your home or place of isolation.

See more isolation advice for those diagnosed with COVID-19.

Information sheet: Isolating safely at home

Continued Recommendations

The following are OCPHO recommendations that will assist residents to make responsible choices, assess personal risk, and help to decrease community spread in these NWT communities:

Get vaccinated

  • Vaccines reduce your risk of getting and COVID-19 and keeps people out of hospitals.

Avoid non-essential travel

  • You determine what is essential by deciding how much risk you are willing to take when it comes to COVID-19 and introducing it into another community. The OCPHO highly encourages keeping medical appointments. If you must travel the OCPHO recommends getting tested on Day 1 after arriving at your destination and on Day 8.

Work from Home

  • If possible, employers should encourage employees to work from home at this time.


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

Relevant links

Further FAQs about these temporary restrictions can be found on the GWNT COVID-19 website.

Media Contact

Dawn Ostrem

Manager, COVID Communications

COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat

Department of Health and Social Services

Government of the Northwest Territories

[email protected](link sends e-mail)


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