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The Northwest Territories is creating a squad of public health officers specifically to enforce orders around the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you choose to ignore orders and endanger our communities, we’ll be coming for you,” Diane Thom, the territory’s health minister, said Wednesday.

Under rules put in place March 31, everyone arriving in the N.W.T. is required to submit a self-isolation plan. Anyone returning to one of the territory’s many remote communities, where living conditions could make it easy for the novel coronavirus to spread, must first spend two weeks in an isolation centre in one of the larger centres.

The N.W.T.’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kami Kandola, said the response was needed because her office was receiving too many complaints about people not following the rules.

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“We’ve received over 180 (complaints),” she said. “Most of them are related to compliance with that public health order.”

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The order provides for penalties of up to $10,000 and six months in jail for individuals,

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