COMMUNITY REPORT: Fort Good Hope – ‘If COVID-19 gets here, it will overwhelm our medical system in two seconds flat’

Frustrated and concerned, Fort Good Hope SAO says some residents aren’t taking COVID-19 seriously

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Frustrated and concerned, Fort Good Hope’s senior administrative officer says some community members aren’t following social distancing protocol amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re not taking it seriously,” said Kimberley Young, who became SAO less than a month ago.

Young said people are continuing to gather socially despite stern warnings from the territory’s chief medical officer, who has recommended cancelling all social gatherings, regardless of the size.

The territory’s first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Yellowknife during the March 21-22 weekend.

The Sahtu community of Fort Good Hope has a population of about 515 people.

Band meetings and non-essential services have been shut down, but Young said community members are still hosting parties and gathering in large numbers. Meanwhile, she said she’s facing an avalanche of COVID-19-related calls.

“We are bombarded constantly everyday with phone calls and questions from the public that we’re trying our best to answer,” said Young. “It’s a very frustrating time for everybody in general.”

Young said she’s “very concerned” about what could happen if the coronavirus reaches Fort Good Hope.

“It’s been extremely difficult because we’re trying to implement measures to keep everybody safe and people in the community aren’t listening and we’re trying to get answers from people who aren’t in their offices anymore,” she continued.

“If COVID gets here, it will overwhelm our medical system in about two seconds flat.”

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