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NWT has extended its public health emergency and its state of emergency, with both expiring on April 28.

Premier Caroline Cochrane, in her new position as minister of municipal and community affairs, re-issued the state of emergency on Wednesday. Health minister Diane Thom did the same for the public health emergency.

“These extensions are due to the continued need for response to the COVID-19 global pandemic to protect public health in the Northwest Territories,” the NWT government stated in a news release.

Chief Public Health Officer Kami Kandola, meanwhile, will keep recommending a public health emergency “until the situation has changed considerably across Canada,” the news release said. 

The state of emergency allows the emergency management organization to continue coordinating response efforts, the news release said. 

Last week, Cochrane shuffled the cabinet to assume control of municipal and community affairs, the department that oversees that organization. The week before that, longtime official Russ Neudorf was appointed as associate deputy minister to spearhead those efforts.

The public health emergency, meanwhile, allows the department to set prices on certain goods, and procure supplies. Under it, Kandola also has the power to take measures like her recent ban on indoor gatherings.

The twin emergency declarations are aiming to limit nation-wide spread, according to the news release. In NWT, it said, there have been no instances of community spread.

“Keeping ahead of the spread is the best way to stay as close to this trajectory possible, and is one way to limit the time strict measures are required for NWT residents,” the news release said.

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Nick Pearce

Nick Pearce is a writer and reporter in Yellowknife, looking for unique stories on the environment and people that make up the North. He's a graduate of Queen's University, where he studied Global Development...

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