NTHSSA/YK service adjustments & mental health resources

Courtesy of https://www.nthssa.ca/
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The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) announced a set of changes to services offered throughout the NWT.

In the Government of NWT’s daily brief they also reiterated the self-assessment tool for residents to help decide if they or someone they are caring for should visit a health care provider for further COVID-19 related assessment and testing.

ALL NWT RESIDENTS:

  • Sick notes will no longer be issued. Employers need to support public health efforts by allowing staff who are sick to stay home or staff returning from travel to isolate based on advice from the Chief Public Health Officer of the Northwest Territories
  • Non-essential medical travel to Alberta and within the NWT will be ramped down. Travel for essential care and services will continue on a case-by-case basis. We will be replacing as many appointments as possible with virtual appointments where possible.
  • Travel of specialist physicians to specialist clinics delivered in communities across the Northwest Territories will be cancelled and replaced with virtual appointments where possible.
  • Non-urgent and non-emergent endoscopy procedures will be cancelled.
  • All elders day programs delivered by the health and social services authorities will be cancelled
  • Oral health programs, normally delivered through schools, will be cancelled
  • Visitation to long-term care will be immediately cancelled.
  • Visitation to acute care sites will be limited to one person per visit.

YELLOWKNIFE SPECIFIC ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Walk-in type appointments in Yellowknife will be converted to same-day appointments, we are not reducing the number of appointments available. We ask that individuals call to secure appointments. If you present at the clinic you will be given a time for your appointment and asked to leave the premises until your appointment to maintain social distancing and reduce opportunities for potential spread. Our aim is to reduce congregation of individuals at clinic sites.
  • Yellowknife residents with flu like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) must call public health at 867-767-9120 for appointments. A quick screening questionnaire will help determine if you should present to Primary Care, Stanton ER, or the off-site COVID-19 screening clinic.
  • Residents are asked to call public health to arrange appointments, and there will be no walk-in COVID related appointments. To avoid the risk of spread we have strict infection prevention and control processes in place and want to limit contact with potential cases, we will be directing individuals who need COVID-19 screening to a specific site for this service.
  • The Yellowknife Eye Clinic will be eliminating walk-in type appointments and deferring non-urgent care and services. If you have an urgent issue you can still secure an appointment by phoning the eye clinic at 867-873-3577.
  • At this time we are also asking the public to report if they are having issues with phone lines in reaching Yellowknife area clinics, particularly if you are put on hold and experience dropped calls. If you do get put on hold and experience a dropped call please email [email protected].
  • The Yellowknife Primary Care Clinic Diagnostic Services are temporarily closed until further notice.  The Stanton Territorial Hospital laboratory/diagnostic imaging Department is still open.  We ask all people requiring these services to please visit the Stanton Territorial Hospital laboratory/diagnostic imaging department. 
    • Outpatient Lab and Diagnostic Imaging hours at Stanton Territorial Hospital are:
      • Diagnostic Imaging: 8AM to 3:30PM Monday to Friday
      • Laboratory: 8AM to 8PM Monday to Friday
  • Well child appointments will continue but only for vaccinations, the well-child assessments where weight, developmental milestones, etc., are monitored will be deferred to a later time. For parents with children due for vaccinations, appointments will continue but will be shortened and the assessments completed at a later date, deferred assessments will be put on a waitlist for follow up.
  • Routine vaccination appointments are being reviewed and triaged based on priority. Those with rescheduled appointments will be contacted directly.
  • Breastfeeding clinic will be rescheduled with any concerns from those who would normally attend to be redirected to Public Health for triage to a Registered Nurse to discuss issues via telephone to determine need for appointment. Those who need appointments will continue to be accommodated.
  • All in-school programming will be suspended until further notice, any education related requests that have been booked will be rescheduled to a later date and teachers can reach out to their dedicated Public Health Nurse for lesson plans and resource.
  • HPV Programming for Grade 5 students will not be occurring the week of April 26th and will be rescheduled to June 2020.
  • Regular appearances at community group sessions will be suspended until further notice. If you have a community group that has a public health nurse attend for education or information purposes please make contact with public health. Information and lesson plans that would be routinely used for these groups can be provided. Communication about when participation in these groups will be issued at a later date.

In the government of NWT’s daily-briefing email, NTHSSA also announced a number of online resources for residents to help cope with managing stress and anxiety during social distancing.

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