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Fort Liard added to GNWT wastewater surveillance program

The GNWT recently added Fort Liard to their program to test human wastewater for the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Minister of Health and Social Services Julie Green says the addition of Fort Liard to the GNWT’s wastewater surveillance program gives another community access to more information that can help keep them safe during the pandemic.

“Wastewater surveillance provides us with an early warning system to detect COVID-19. It is a valuable resource as we work to keep the virus at bay in our territory.”

The other communities are Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik, Norman Wells and Yellowknife.

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Green says Fort Liard was chosen as a priority community for wastewater testing due to its proximity to northern B.C. communities that have seen a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases. The first wastewater samples from Fort Liard were collected in March.

She says positive test results in a community with no known COVID-19 cases can help public health officials to take action that will reduce viral spread.

NWT wastewater test results are available online 5-10 days after collection, following review by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer.

The wastewater program is expected to be in place in the NWT for the next 12 months.

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