Yellowknife Centre Newsletter
Staying home for Christmas: the 2020 reality
The holiday season has started for some with Hannukah and is coming for others with Christmas, along with the official start of winter. These occasions are going to be marked differently this year because of the pandemic. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in small groups, visit people virtually or attend a small worship service.

The Chief Public Health Officer has recommended that people not take non-essential travel. That said, students, other family and friends are staying with plans to visit the Northwest Territories. The most important thing to remember is that if anyone who has been outside of the NWT in the last 14 days has to self-isolate. If they choose to self-isolate in your home, everyone in that home has to stay home for 14 days – no school, no work, no shopping.

Two other points to remember: the maximum number of people you can safely gather in your home is 10 people and that includes the people who live there. The second point is that COVID tests are readily available. If you have symptoms, use this tool for a self-assessment and follow up: Take a self-assessment | GNWT's Response to COVID-19 (

Jan and I wish you, your friends and loved ones a safe and happy holiday season and all the best for a healthy and prosperous 2021.

On the road with the Health and Social Services portfolio

I met in Tuk with Peter Nogasak of Tuk Community Corp (TCC), Nunakput MLA Jackie Jacobson and Nellie Cournoyea who is on the TCC.
I was happy to be invited to visit Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk in November. I met local political leadership, toured the Inuvik Regional Hospital and met staff there before driving the Inuvik to Tuk Highway. The hamlet council and community corporation had lots of good questions for me, mostly about health care services. Earlier this month, I also went to Deline with other members of the Executive Council to meet with the Deline Got’ine Government. We had a great discussion about the initiatives their new government is taking.
All I want for 2021 is a jab in the arm!
The three territories successfully lobbied Ottawa to allocate enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of the adult population. This arrangement recognizes the special vulnerabilities of small and isolated communities.

As I write this, we are awaiting Health Canada approval of the Moderna vaccine and final details about the size and timing of vaccine shipments. Meanwhile the department of health and social services is working on a vaccine plan that addresses issues such as the order in which people will be vaccinated and the logistics of moving and storing the vaccine. There will be announcements when these details are finalized. It’s my hope that everyone who wants a jab gets one in the first part of 2021.

Being vaccinated will reduce anxiety about contracting COVID-19. The vaccines will roll out differently in other jurisdictions so we will continue with self-isolation restrictions until the vaccine is widespread and the spike in cases has resolved.

Happy new year, everyone.  
So long, farewell, I’d like to say “adieu”
Lyda Fuller retired as executive director of YWCA NWT at the end of November. She had been ED for 23 years and saw the organization through a transformative time, from moving out of Northern United Place near the beginning of her time in Yellowknife, to the fire that destroyed Rockhill two years ago. Lyda brought so much passion to her mission to help women, children and girls live free from violence. Hawa Dumbaya-Sesay is her very capable replacement. The picture below is from her Zoom retirement party.