Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Self-Isolation

Last modified: 
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 09:00

Self-isolation means limiting your contact with others. 

If you have symptoms and were tested for COVID-19

  • If someone in your household develops symptoms, call your health care provider and they will give instructions.
  • Wait for our health care provider to notify you of your test results.
  • It will take up to a week to receive your results and your health care provider will provide further advice at that time.
  • You and your household must follow the "What is Self-Isolation?" advice below.

If you don't have symptoms and are self-isolating because of travel

Do I need to complete a Self-Isolation Plan?

If you arrived in the NWT within the past 14 days you must self-isolate and complete the approved self-isolation plan. Public health officials will review and follow up with you about your self-isolation plan. If you need assistance or have questions about the self-isolation plan, call 1-833-378-8297 or email protectnwt@gov.nt.ca, 8 AM to 8 PM, 7 days a week. Completing and submitting the self-isolation plan is mandatory and can be enforced by peace officers.

Note: NWT residents must self-isolate in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or For Smith, to help avoid overwhelming health centres in small remote communities.

What is Self-Isolation?

Stay home

  • Avoid situations where you could infect others. This means staying away from:
    • social gatherings;
    • work;
    • school/university;
    • childcare centres;
    • athletic events;
    • faith-based gatherings;
    • healthcare facilities;
    • grocery stores;
    • restaurants;
    • shopping malls;
    • gyms;
    • and any other public gatherings.
  • You may go outdoors for fresh air when by yourself. Do not use public transportation, taxis, or share a car.
  • Do not have face-to-face contact (within 2 metres) with anyone while outdoors.
  • If you must run an urgent errand by yourself (e.g. picking up a medication) you can wear a surgical mask to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

Avoid having visitors

  • Avoid having visitors to your home, but it is okay for friends, family, or delivery drivers to drop food off or other things you may need.
  • Avoid contact with older adults and other people with chronic medical conditions (e.g. immune deficiencies, lung problems, heart disease, diabetes).

Keep your distance

  • Stay away from other household members (2 meters apart) as much as possible and use a separate bathroom if you have one. If you must share toilet facilities, they should be cleaned daily.
  • Avoid sharing household items. You should not share drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, pillows or other items with people in your home. After using these items you should clean them.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or cough or sneeze into your sleeve/elbow.
  • You and other household members should follow healthy respiratory practices.
  • Throw used tissues immediately into the garbage and wash your hands.

Wash your hands

  • You and your family should wash your hands frequently.
  • Wash them after coughing or sneezing, if they are dirty, using the bathroom, or before eating.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer if water is not available.

Be careful when touching garbage

  • All waste can go into regular garbage bins.
  • When emptying the garbage, take care to not touch used tissues with your hands. Lining the garbage with a plastic bag makes waste disposal easier and safer.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water after emptying the garbage.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean your home with regular household cleaners.
  • Clean regularly touched items such as toilets, sink taps, handles, door knobs, light switches, cellphones, bedside tables, etc. on a daily basis.

When do I need to self-isolate?

You will need to self-isolate for 14 days:

  • after your return from travel outside of NWT.
  • since last exposure where you have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19

For information on what you need to do if you develop symptoms during self-isolation, please see Advice to NWT Residents.


Close contacts at highest risk are persons who:

  • provided care for the person with COVID-19 (including health care workers without consistent use of appropriate personal protective equipment, family members or other caregivers)
  • lived with or otherwise had close prolonged contact (within 2 metres or 6 feet) with a person with COVID-19 who had symptoms and was not self-isolating
  • had direct contact with infectious body fluids of a person with COVID-19 with symptoms (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on) without the appropriate use of recommended personal protective equipment.
  • Airplane crew and passengers seated within 2 meters of a person with COVID-19 with symptoms.

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