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GNWT releases Public Health Advisory

Sunday, March 15th – Government of the Northwestern Territories released the following public health advisory

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada is advising travelers arriving in Canada from any international destination, via airport or land port of entry, to:

A- Self-isolate for 14 days after your return from travel outside of Canada.

B- Monitor your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

For international visitors already within the NWT who have no symptoms and who are still within 14 days of their arrival to Canada, we are recommending self-isolation to complete the full duration or the option to return home immediately.

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Other Scenarios Requiring Self-Isolation

Anyone who has been in close contact with a person with COVID-19, should self- isolate for 14 days since last exposure

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.

If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days continue to isolate yourself from others, call a health care provider and inform them about symptoms and travel history.

They will provide advice on what you should do.


  • Yellowknife: 867-767-9120
  • Inuvik: 867-490 –2225 or867-777-7246
  • Fort Smith: 867-872-6219 or 867-872-6221
  • Hay River: 867-874-7201
  • Other Communities can call their local health centres,

If your symptoms become severe call 9-1-1.

Essential Workers 

The Chief Public Health Officer recognizes that for certain situations, self-isolation for essential workers may impact public health and safety. Employers of essential workers should activate business continuity plans that include risk assessments and mitigation measures that allow for essential services to continue while minimizing the risk to the public.

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Travellers arriving in the NWT from Canada

To limit the spread of COVID-19 in the NWT, the Chief Public Health Officer recommends avoiding non-essential travel into the NWT from elsewhere in Canada.

Those returning to the NWT from other destinations within Canada must self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. You will need to:

  • Monitor your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Follow healthy respiratory practices

Residents Leaving the NWT

The Chief Public Health Officer is advising all NWT residents to avoid all non-essential travel outside of the Northwest Territories and all international travel.

Making the choice to stay at home and to not travel outside of the NWT is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and our communities from the spread of COVID-19, and to support our health system in responding to this pandemic.

If you have plans to travel, you should contact your airline or tour operator to determine options for cancelling or postponing your trip.

Residents outside of Canada should find out what commercial options are still available to return to Canada and should consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming limited.

Although not advised, if you are still considering travel outside of Canada, you should do the following:

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  • check your destination before travelling
  • know the health risks for your destination
  • understand the risks of your safety and security abroad
  • ensure that you have sufficient finances and necessities, including medication, in
    case your travels are disrupted
  • be prepared if airlines revise scheduled flights to and from your destination

If you travel abroad, you could be subject to the measures of other countries. Your scheduled trip may become much longer. You may also have reduced access to quality health care and your travel health insurance will likely not provide coverage in a pandemic.

The Chief Public Health Officer would also like to reiterate that you should avoid all travel on cruise ships due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, until further notice.

As of March 15th the GNWT has reported no confirmed Covid 19 cases in the region.

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