Baby Care

Délı̨nę mother, newborn with COVID-19 forced to isolate at gov’t-run home lacking basic amenities

Délı̨nę mother, newborn with COVID-19 forced to isolate at gov't-run home lacking basic amenities
Written by Publishing Team

Délı̨nę’s mother and her newborn baby who were evacuated to Yellowknife after contracting COVID-19 are now in isolation in a NWT government-run home that lacks basic services.

The woman arrived at her current isolation home to find cigarette ashes on a plate, dirty sheets on the bed, no shower curtain or toilet paper, no internet, and no telephone.

“There is no convenience in the house where I feel like I have to isolate myself on my own with a newborn baby,” the woman said in an email.

The woman requested anonymity, which CBC News granted to respect medical confidentiality.

The woman said she and her newborn baby tested positive for COVID-19 on January 6. Both developed a fever and were evacuated to Yellowknife to make sure the baby was not in serious condition.

The woman and her newborn were released from the hospital the next day, but had to self-isolate in Yellowknife until January 16.

Limited options

The Explorer Hotel and the Chateau Nova have been used as isolation centers since the start of the pandemic. However, the only options available to the woman and the newborn were the Northern Lites Motel, a site known for its criminal activity, the Aspen Motel, and a three-person house, which she could potentially have to share with strangers. She chose the house.

The woman’s sister tried to help her overcome her isolation.

The sister said she asked the territorial government if she could pay for the woman to be isolated at the Explorer or at Chateau Nova, but was told this could not be arranged as these places cannot accommodate. of people with COVID-19.

The woman said in an email to CBC News that she didn’t think it made sense.

“As these are both isolation centers, you can bet there are probably several positive cases remaining there,” she wrote.

She added that it is unfair that both hotels allow people arriving from the south to isolate themselves, but do not accommodate someone from a community in the NWT who is in need.

The sister contacted the territorial government

The sister said she contacted the territorial government to move the woman to the Northern Lites Motel or the Aspen Motel after finding out about the condition of the house. But she said she was told the Northern Lites was full and all available at the Aspen are cots.

The sister said that as of Tuesday there was still no phone or internet in the house and no one had come to clean it.

The sister said she and her other siblings dropped off cleaning supplies and food for the woman and the newborn because the territorial government did not, except for one breakfast left at the door which froze.

The sister said she was worried about her sister, but also wondered what would happen to someone from a community that has no family in Yellowknife.

“I hope they can set up the phones, people coming from communities often don’t have cell phones or they don’t have family members in the community that they can rely on,” he said. she declared.

“Luckily my sister got us, but if she didn’t it would be a terrible situation. ”

CBC News has requested an interview with Premier Caroline Cochrane, who is responsible for the COVID-19 Secretariat. But Trista Haugland, the NWT cabinet press secretary, referred the request to the operational side of the COVID-19 Secretariat.

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