Latest Updates

Last modified: 
01/20/2021 - 11:24

This page provides a weekly summary of recent updates from the Government of the Northwest Territories. 

For previous updates, see NWT COVID-19 Update Archive

COVID-19 Weekly Vaccine Update – as of January 15, 2021

The number of vaccine doses given in the NWT will be updated weekly on Mondays at Information and resources about the COVID-19 vaccine are also available at this website, or by following the GNWT or NTHSSA Facebook pages.

Priority groups are being offered the vaccine first. Depending on the community, priority groups may happen all at once or in stages based on highest risk. Exact dates, times, and locations for vaccine clinics, along with how to book an appointment, can be found at Communities are updated regularly and information is subject to change.

The COVID-19 vaccine is still being studied in those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, immunocompromised, or have an autoimmune disorder. However, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that these groups be offered the vaccine if verbal consent is given after the risks and benefits are discussed with the nurse giving the vaccine.

NWT COVID-19 Weekly Update – as of January 8, 2021

Public Health – Chief Public Health Officer

Person in Yellowknife with COVID-19 Infection Without Known Source
The individual sought testing when they developed symptoms. They are doing well and isolating appropriately. A rigorous investigation is ongoing to determine the source of infection. Without knowing the source of infection, it is difficult to fully-characterize public risk. What this means is that there is reason for residents and travellers in Yellowknife to remain vigilant. But there is no reason to be frightened – we know what works to stop transmission, and public health is working hard to find the source. As we learn more, we will update the public at the earliest opportunity. The full media release is available at the Health and Social Services Public Health Advisories page.

Anyone at Any Stage of Self-Isolation January 1 Through January 6 in Hay River or K'atlo'deeche First Nation: Arrange for COVID-19 Testing
Wastewater samples analyzed from January 1 to 6, 2021 has signaled undetected COVID-19. The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer is confident that this positive signal indicates that there is likely at least one undetected case of COVID-19 in Hay River. The full media release is available at the Health and Social Services Public Health Advisories page.

Statistics Canada supports symptoms checks for people self-isolating in NWT
In the first week of January, Statistics Canada began working with the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat on an initiative where they conduct symptom and wellness checks for people who are self-isolating in the Northwest Territories (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. 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. The full media release is available in the GNWT Newsroom.

Current COVID-19 testing and results information are available on the GNWT’s COVID-19 website

Government of the Northwest Territories

State of Emergency in the City of Yellowknife Extended
This State of Emergency was initially instated to address the need for additional shelter space as a result of ongoing capacity limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, Paulie Chinna has extended the State of Emergency in the City of Yellowknife through January 28, 2021. The full media release is available in the GNWT Newsroom.

Important reminders and notices

Get a swab. Get it early
It is more important than ever that anyone with any symptoms comes forward for a COVID-19 test. Getting a test is quick and easy. Test results are back within 24 to 48 hours – rapid tests now in as little as 15 minutes! You can get back to your regular activities as long as:

  • you have a negative test result,
  • you have not travelled or been exposed to COVID-19,
  • you have no fever, and your symptoms have improved.

GNWT services during COVID-19
The GNWT has inventoried its program and service changes as a result of COVID-19 and has provided the list on its COVID-19 GNWT services webpage.  Residents are encouraged to check this page frequently for the latest updates.

Government of Canada

Government of Canada announces further reinforcement of COVID-19 supports for Indigenous communities
Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services is highlighting $1.2 billion in investments made through the Fall Economic Statement (FES) in additional support for the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities. This will ensure continued critical support for on-the-ground, community-led solutions to prevent, prepare and respond to COVID-19. As the COVID-19 pandemic increases in intensity, the Government of Canada continues supporting First Nations, Inuit, Métis to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to keep their communities safe, and respond to outbreaks of COVID-19. You can read the full media release at the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Announcements page.

Travelling within Canada
If you must travel within Canada, be aware that of the following:
  - Airline passengers in Canada will be subject to a health check before boarding.
  - There may be restrictions at your final destination.
To learn more about the restrictions of travelling within Canada, visit:

For the latest updates from the Government of Canada, please visit the Government of Canada’s website.