As announced previously by Health and Social Services Minister Julie Green, the Public Health Emergency and associated public health orders will be lifted on Friday, April 1st at 12:00 a.m.
Throughout the pandemic, the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) has implemented legally binding measures to protect residents of the NWT from COVID-19 and to swiftly respond to the evolving needs of the health care system. On April 1st, these measures will shift to recommendations and residents will make choices based on their own risk assessment.
- Masking: Masks will no longer be required. People can choose to wear a mask based on their personal preference. Masking indoors is strongly recommended for those who are at high risk of severe outcomes.
- Businesses and organizations may continue to require customers to wear masks on their premises.
- Gatherings: Since March 1st, there have been no capacity limits on gatherings in the NWT. Residents are encouraged to complete their own risk assessment prior to attending or organizing high-risk gatherings.
- Isolation: NWT residents will no longer be legally required to isolate upon their return from travel or if they test positive for COVID-19, but anyone who has COVID symptoms should stay home until they are symptom free. The CPHO recommends that masks be worn and that contact with others be minimized for a full ten days after the onset of symptoms. High-risk activities and gatherings should also be avoided during this period.
- Testing: Residents may access testing if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 but will no longer be required to report a positive test. Individuals at higher risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes should seek assessment by a health care provider if they have COVID symptoms. This will allow timely access to treatment for those who need it.
- Physical Distancing: While it is still recommended that residents practice physical distancing when gathering, they will no longer be required to do so.
- Healthy Habits: Hand washing, enhanced cleaning, and good respiratory hygiene, like covering coughs and sneezes, are still recommended to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission of other viruses.
High vaccination rates in the territory, and the availability of treatments to lessen the severity of a COVID infection have put us in a position to end the public health orders. However, the end of the Public Health Emergency does not mean the end of COVID-19. The Chief Public Health Officer recommends that residents continue to follow public health guidance that is proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“With the Public Health Emergency ending tomorrow, it is important to remember how we got here: by following public health guidance, staying up to date on vaccinations, and practising healthy habits. These steps will keep us safe.”
-Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services
- For information about local vaccination clinics and where to seek testing outside of Yellowknife, visit the NTHSSA’s website or contact your local health centre.
- To find out if you are eligible for vaccination or testing in Yellowknife and to schedule an appointment please use the NWT’s booking system.
- NWT borders are open and travellers can enter and exit the NWT by road 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and via the airports during regularly scheduled flight times.
- For any questions about highways and airports, contact INF_Communications@gov.nt.ca.
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Government of the Northwest Territories