Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Advice to NWT Residents

Last modified: 
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 13:39

We all have a role to play in keeping our communities healthy. The following advice is an important way residents can protect their families, their friends, and our communities as we coordinate a unified response to COVID-19.

For information on how you can prevent or prepare for COVID-19, please see:

What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

If you are experiencing milder symptoms such as fever, cough or flu-like, take the NWT Online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool or call:

  • Yellowknife: 867-767-9120, or book online at
  • Inuvik: 867-490-2225
  • Fort Smith: 867-621-2233 or 867-872-0562
  • Hay River: 867-874-7201 (between 08:30-16.30). After hours call Emergency Department at 867-874-8050.
  • Other Communities can call their local health centres,

If your symptoms are severe (i.e. shortness of breath) call 9-1-1.

Please describe your symptoms over the phone before your appointment so the clinic can arrange to see you without exposing others. Let them know if you have travelled or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

What is the difference between self-monitoring and self-isolation?

Self-monitoring is when you watch for symptoms of COVID-19.  Self-isolation is when you need to stay home and isolate yourself from everyone (no visitors).  If you are asked to self-isolate you should also be self-monitoring for symptoms at the same time. For more information, please see:

Is there a treatment for COVID-19?

Right now, there is no specific treatment for most people with COVID-19. Your health care provider may recommend steps you can take to relieve symptoms or provide other care.

Are antibiotics and antivirals effective in preventing or treating COVID-19?

Antibiotics work on infections caused by bacteria. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics will not help. Antibiotics help in other bacterial lung infections and antivirals may improve influenza infections but are not effective for COVID-19. Both Antibiotics and antivirals should only be used as directed by a health care professional.  

Is there a vaccine to protect against COVID-19?

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19.

Will this year’s flu vaccine protect me from COVID-19?

The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19.  However, influenza is still in the NWT.  The influenza vaccine is safe and effective.  We recommend getting your vaccination to prevent the spread of influenza and reduce your chance of being hospitalized.

Is there anything I should NOT be doing?

The following measures ARE NOT effective against COVID-2019:

  • Wearing multiple masks (especially if you are not sick)
  • Taking self-medication such as antibiotics  

Smoking is harmful. Even decreasing the amount you smoke lowers the risk and reduces the severity of respiratory infections.  If you would like help to quit smoking, visit: