In the first week of January, Statistics Canada began working with the GNWT’s COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat on an initiative where they conduct over-the-phone symptom checks for people who are self-isolating in the NWT as a result of travel.
Until now, these symptom checks have been administered by the Secretariat’s ProtectNWT staff, via direct telephone contact or online submissions.
Caroline Cochrane, Minister Responsible for the COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat says that this partnership with Statistics Canada will allow them to provide personalized over-the-phone symptom checks to anyone self-isolating in the NWT who would rather speak with a person than submit their information electronically.
“We have been able to limit the number of cases in the NWT because of the strength and resilience of NWT residents who have continued to make sacrifices for the safety of their neighbours and loved ones.”
Statistics Canada is utilizing staff from their Western Canada region, which includes representatives from British Columbia and Alberta, who are trained to make calls and conduct surveys to Northerners.
The GNWT’s participation in the initiative was arranged through an agreement between Dr. Kami Kandola, NWT Chief Public Health Officer and Statistics Canada.
The additional federal resources will ensure the more time-consuming direct-contact checks remain readily available to all isolating travellers wishing to access this form of check-in.
GNWT Health Information Services is working closely with Statistics Canada to ensure safety and security of NWT residents’ personal health information.
The arrangement will continue until March 31st with the ability to be extended as needed.
Individuals self-isolating in the NWT are required to complete a symptom check on the 2nd, 6th, 10th and 14th days following entry into the NWT.