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Officials issue COVID-19 exposure warning for Yellowknife gym, RCMP detachment


YELLOWKNIFE — The deputy chief public health officer for the Northwest Territories is asking Yellowknife residents who visited two locations on specific days to isolate for two weeks because of a risk of exposure to COVID-19.

The territory announced three presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 on Friday: two in Yellowknife and one in Inuvik.

Dr. Andy Delli Pizzi said anyone who visited Anytime Fitness on Oct. 12 between 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. or the RCMP detachment public waiting area between 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 13 must self-isolate and contact Yellowknife Public Health. Anyone self-isolating must monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and contact the public health unit if they develop.

People in the same household as those who might have been exposed must also quarantine for 14 days if the exposed individual cannot isolate away from them, he said. 

"I'd like to stress that a public notice is not abnormal. We provide these notices not because we believe there is a high risk, but because there is some risk and we'd like to mitigate that risk," Delli Pizzi told a news conference Friday.

He said his office has started to identify and reach out to contacts of the presumptive positive cases. 

The two in Yellowknife are from the same household, Delli Pizzi said. One person travelled and isolated upon arriving home..

The presumptive case in Inuvik travelled there by road from Alberta, arrived last Saturday, and immediately isolated.

Delli Pizzi said the Inuvik test has been "thoroughly investigated" and there is no exposure risk to any communities along the person's route. 

Drive-in testing hours have been extended in Yellowknife from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, he said, although he added there is no need to be tested if a person doesn't have symptoms.. 

"Isolating at home will keep you and others safe."  

The three presumptive tests must be confirmed at a lab in Edmonton. Delli Pizzi said he hoped to receive the results by Saturday. 

For now, there are no changes to public health orders in the N.W.T.

"Our best judgment is that this situation is manageable and there's no need to alter our overarching approach at this time."  

The N.W.T. requires all travelers to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in the territory. 

-- By Emma Tranter in Iqaluit

-- This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press news Fellowship.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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