As of April 1, 2022, all NWT COVID-19 Public Health Orders have been lifted, however, COVID-19 infections in the Northwest Territories (NWT) are still occurring and will continue to occur for the foreseeable future. The Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) has made the following recommendations to slow the spread of the virus causing COVID-19, which is very contagious. Slowing the spread will reduce pressures on NWT systems and services, such as health, education, and critical infrastructure while helping protect those at high risk for severe outcomes.
Note to all NWT residents, businesses, gathering organizers, clubs, and teams: There is no longer any Public Health Orders in place in the NWT. Therefore, the following recommendations are not requirements. Employers and businesses may choose to still have policies in place to enforce certain public health measures, but these are internal policies that are not enforceable by the Public Health Act.
Testing Positive for COVID-19
If you test positive on any test and are symptomatic, we recommend that you stay home and limit your contact with others. Consider for the next 10 days: wearing a mask while indoors, reducing your contacts (especially to vulnerable persons), physically distancing from others, avoiding high risk-activities and try to work alone if possible.
- If you test positive on at at-home test, you do not require an in-person test
- If your symptoms are worrisome or you cannot manage your symptoms at home please visit your local health centre for an assessment. Treatments that reduce severe outcomes are available for those at higher risk. To be considered for treatment, assessment by a healthcare provider is needed.
- Call 811 if you have none-urgent medical questions.
- If you have difficulty breathing or any serious symptoms, please call 911.
Stay Home When Sick
If you begin to develop symptoms like COVID-19, please stay home so you can recover. It is important and highly recommended that you stay home when sick with any respiratory illnesses, so you do not spread them. Any travel out of a household to another residence or accommodation is likely to increase the chance of spreading illnesses to other community members.
As with many other common viral infections (e.g., the flu), COVID-19 testing is only recommended when the result of a test will inform decisions about treatment or care. If you are generally in good health and are experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19, you do not need to be tested. Availability of free tests in communities by grocery stores and other community places will be phasing out soon. The NWT has been receiving tests through a federal program. For those with worrisome symptoms or that cannot manage your symptoms at home local health centres will still be able to assess if a test is required to inform decisions regarding treatment or care otherwise we do not recommend testing. You can also call 811 for non-urgent medical advice.
Gatherings and Workplaces
One of the biggest things we have learned about COVID-19 is how outbreaks start. Large gatherings where lots of people mingle are a higher risk. The following recommendations help us to understand how making good choices will help protect you and your community, especially those who are at a higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.
- Keep groups small and spaces large
- Consider gathering outdoors
- Consider increasing ventilation if indoors
- Provide sanitation stations for handwashing and cleaning
- Follow cleaning protocols
- Follow distancing protocols
- Reduce mingling among tables
- Consider directional signage in naturally congested areas
- Provide a three-metre distance between performers and audience
- Determine if masking requirements are appropriate
- Put in place special times, spaces or considerations for people who are at higher risk of COVID-19 severe outcomes
- Support employees working from home or staying home if they are sick
- Encourage employees to stay up to date with their vaccinations
- Follow WSCC requirements and update risk assessment documents and policies to reflect appropriate public health measures for volunteers, employees, and clients
Note to all businesses, gathering organizers, clubs, and teams: There is no longer a Public Health Order related to gatherings. Therefore, you do not require an application to vary from Public Health Orders.
Wearing face masks in indoor public spaces is recommended in the NWT. The following federal guidance recommends medical masks and respirators be used in the following situations if possible:
- Anyone who has tested positive for or has symptoms of COVID-19
- People caring for someone who has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19
- People who live in an overcrowded setting with someone who has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19
- People who are at risk of more severe disease or outcomes from COVID-19
- People who are at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of their living situation
For more information please see COVID-19 mask use: Advice for community settings.
Healthy habits are things you can do every day and may be especially important to implement in high risk settings.
- Wearing a good, well-fitted mask reduces respiratory droplets from spreading.
- Keeping a distance between yourself and others will also help.
- Washing your hands, use soap to wash off stubborn particles that hide in the tiny lines and folds of our skin or under your nails
- Keep surfaces clean, especially if someone in your house is sick.
- Stay home when sick until you feel better.
- Monitor for symptoms
We know that immunity wanes over time. Please ensure you are up to date on vaccinations, including booster doses that are now available, as well as when the CPHO announces any additional doses approved by the National Advisory Council on Immunization. Please see the NWT immunization schedule to see if you are up to date. This will be updated as new guidance is provided.
For information on COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, visit the NTHSSA website.
While travelling you may become positive or end up sharing accommodations with someone who tests positive and need to isolate due to federal or international requirements while away from home. You should be prepared for this possibility. If you are hosting friends or family from another community in your home, be prepared to support them and monitor yourself for symptoms as household contacts if they choose to stay in your home. You may want to consider working from home, wearing a mask, and reducing your higher-risk activities or contacts for the next 10 days to reduce possibility of spread. Please note, while there are no COVID-19 Public Health Orders in place requiring isolation, staying in place, and avoiding contact with others remains an effective way of limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the territory.
Note: Effective April 1, 2022 anyone regardless of vaccine status can enter the NWT. Self-Isolation Plan is no longer required.