GNWT Says Covid-19 Exposure Webpage Still Worth It


A webpage that lists Covid-19 exposure warnings for shops, bars and thefts in the NWT is worth using as it allows residents to ‘connect the dots’, despite occasional confusion, according to the territorial government.

The NWT Exposure Notifications webpage at times struggled to keep pace as the Omicron variant hit the territory during the holiday travel season, inadvertently listing both a flight that did not exist. not and one that had not yet taken off.

Several residents reached out to Cabin Radio to seek clarification on those lists as they tried to determine whether or not they had been exposed.

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Nearly 30 thefts were listed on the page Wednesday night, while seven new warnings were given for locations across Yellowknife. Flights have been added almost daily since mid-December.

Sometimes notifications push residents to the limits of their memory. Do you remember where you were between 3pm and 3.15pm on Christmas Eve? (If this was Yellowknife’s upscale liquor store, it’s a listed exhibit site at the time.)

By email this week, the Government of the Northwest Territories’ Covid-19 secretariat said the webpage was still being used to “allow residents who might not be feeling well to connect the dots if they can get into the same neighborhood as a positive Covid-19 infection ”.

Despite this, secretariat spokesman Richard Makohoniuk admitted that “how or if this works, in practice, is up for debate”.

Makohoniuk added that the webpage also served as a reminder to residents “that Covid-19 can be found in many different places and that putting safety nets in place is an important part of protecting against potential infections.” (Putting up safety nets – a metaphor related to either trapeze acts or trawlers, depending on your perspective – is the last sentence of area officials as they urge residents to follow public health guidelines. The first Minister Caroline Cochrane, Health Minister Julie Green and Chief Public Health Officer Dr Kami Kandola all used the term during a briefing for reporters on Tuesday.)

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Maintaining accurate exposure notifications may become more difficult as the territory moves to a system that urges many people to take tests at home if they only have mild symptoms and are not considered to be at increased risk. serious illness.

The Northwest Territories is now asking people with positive home tests to call for their result rather than going to a testing center, and is also asking them to notify contacts themselves, which is increasing potentially the likelihood of gaps in exposure reporting, depending on the propensity of residents to call. in positive tests.

Makohoniuk said the exposure notifications webpage will remain in place unless the number of infections increases so dramatically that the spread in the community means that contact tracing can no longer be carried out effectively.

This happened during the Delta variant outbreak in the fall, he said, when the community spread in Yellowknife reached a point where exposure notifications were no longer being released.

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