The Northwest Territories is introducing stricter public health measures and extending current orders as the territory continues to deal with an outbreak of COVID-19.

Starting Saturday, public gatherings in the capital of Yellowknife and surrounding areas will be limited to 10 people indoors, down from 25.

All schools and non-essential businesses will remain closed until at least Oct. 4.

Chief public health officer, Dr. Kami Kandola, says health care in the N.W.T. is stretched and the measures are meant to act as a circuit-breaker.

Kandola says the territory has the highest active per capita rate of COVID-19 cases in the country at 238, 141 of those in Yellowknife and surrounding area.

There have been 712 infections since the current outbreak began and two people have died.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2021.