GNWT Expands COVID-19 Testing

Yellowknife — April 24, 2020
News Releases

To slow and contain the spread of COVID-19 it is of utmost importance to diagnose and isolate individuals infected with the virus. As we continue to learn about this new virus we need to reassess and adjust our approach, which includes who we test. Research has shown that individuals with COVID-19 might experience symptoms other than fever,  new or worsening cough, or shortness of breath. These include a recent onset of:  

  • A general feeling of unease, or being ‘under the weather’
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of smell

The GNWT has expanded its already aggressive testing strategy to include anyone experiencing a recent onset of these symptoms.

Residents who are not feeling well are urged to call 8-1-1 or to take the online NWT self-assessment and follow the provided advice.

Anyone experiencing severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, and severe acute respiratory distress syndrome should call 9-1-1.

 

Ramping up expanded symptom testing is one component the NWT Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola says must be in-place to consider strategic relaxing of public health measures for local residents over the next 4-6 weeks.

Quote

“We need your help in slowing down and containing COVID-19 to help protect our families and communities. If you are not feeling well, call 8-1-1 or take the online self-assessment and follow the provided directions. We want more people to get tested so that we can better understand this virus. By getting tested, you’re playing an important role in containing this virus because the more information we have about it the better we will be able to respond to it.”

-Diane Thom, Minister of Health and Social Services

 

Quick Facts

  • The NWT has one of the most aggressive testing strategies in Canada and continues to lead the way for testing per capita.
  • Testing information is vital in improving our understanding about COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 symptoms include:
    • Fever
    • New or worsening cough
    • Shortness of breath
  • People with COVID-19 have also experienced the following:
    • A general feeling of unease, or being ‘under the weather’
    • Muscle aches
    • Fatigue
    • Sore throat
    • Runny nose
    • Headache
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Loss of smell
  • Anyone experiencing these symptoms should call 8-1-1 (8 AM to 8 PM, 7 days a week) or take the online assessment and follow the provided directions.
  • Anyone experiencing severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, and severe acute respiratory distress syndrome should call 9-1-1.
  • Risk of severe disease is higher for older adults, people with chronic disease (e.g. diabetes, cancer, heart, renal, or chronic lung disease), and people with weakened or compromised immune system (e.g. chemotherapy)  

 

Related Links

 

Media Contact

Cabinet Communications
Government of the Northwest Territories

PressSecretary@gov.nt.ca