GNWT overwhelmed by number of self-isolation plans: Health Minister Green

Health Minister Julie Green speaking at the Legislative Assembly. (Photo by Bailey Moreton/MyTrueNorthNow.com.)
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Health Minister Julie Green says changes will need to be made to deal with the large number of self-isolation plans being submitted to the GNWT.

In a post to Facebook, Green said there are over 2,500 plans pending today, including more than 800 new plans submitted this week.

“I want to acknowledge the time it is taking to process self-isolation plans. We were not prepared for the volume,” she wrote.

The territorial government removed isolation requirements on June 21 for fully vaccinated residents when they return from travel outside the territory.

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But those residents still have to submit isolation plans.

“I appreciate people filing SIPs as soon as they know they are going to travel or have family visit here in the NWT,” added Green. “We are looking for a more efficient way of dealing with this information as soon as possible.”

The GNWT has had issues with managing self-isolation plans and communicating with residents about their isolation stays in the past. 

New technology and new hires were supposed to improve response times for people who called the 8-1-1 ProtectNWT line in November, but the service faced delays amid “technology issues” in January.

People who are partially vaccinated are still required to self-isolate for a minimum of 8 days and get tested on the last day. 

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People who are unvaccinated, including children under 12, are required to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days with a negative test on day 10. Children under 2 will not be required to get a test on day 10 but have to isolate until then.

A day 1 test and a day 14 test are required for people travelling from outside of the NWT to a small community and for some essential workers.

NWT residents don’t need proof of their vaccination but travellers who got their vaccines outside the territory will need proof of vaccination.

Non-NWT residents still are only allowed into the territory if they are granted an exemption by the Chief Public Health Officer, which doesn’t currently allow for leisure travel.

Allowing leisure travel into the NWT will come when the NWT is 75 per cent fully vaccinated for the population aged 18 years and over, and there are less than 1,000 cases reported a day in Canada, and the country is reporting a fully vaccinated rate of between 66 and 75 per cent.

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