GNWT Extends Territorial Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency

Public Service Announcement

Yellowknife — May 12, 2020

The territory-wide Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency have been extended in the Northwest Territories. Both extensions will take effect as of May 13, 2020 and expire on May 26, 2020.

These extensions are due to the continued need for response to the COVID-19 global pandemic to protect public health in the Northwest Territories and do not indicate a significant change in circumstances or an increased risk to the people of the NWT.

Minister of Health and Social Services Diane Thom extended the territory-wide Public Health Emergency under the Northwest Territories’ Public Health Act on the recommendation of Chief Public Health Officer Kami Kandola.

Premier Caroline Cochrane, in her capacity of Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, extended the territory-wide state of emergency under the Emergency Management Act.

This extension of the Public Health Emergency allows the Chief Public Health Officer to continue to take strong, binding actions to protect all Northwest Territories residents, and swiftly respond to the daily evolving needs of the healthcare system as it tackles a pandemic. Extending the State of Emergency ensures the Emergency Management Organization (EMO) continues to be in a position to support the orders issued by the Chief Public Health Officer.

While the Northwest Territories is currently in containment mode, with no evidence of community spread and all cases recovered, we continue to see new cases in the rest of Canada.  With community spread continuing at high levels across Canada, the risk presented remains high to the Northwest Territories. The NWT relies in part on out-of-territory workers to maintain essential services and deliver on critical projects.

The need to maintain border controls to limit the exposure to COVID-19 continues to be a priority. Dr. Kandola has indicated she will continue to recommend extensions to the Public Health Emergency until the situation has changed considerably across Canada.

With the current Public Health Emergency in place, the Chief Public Health Officer has been able to safeguard our territory and to develop forward looking plans that are only possible with the Public Health Emergency and the State of Emergency in place.

These extensions reflect the need to remain vigilant and swiftly respond to any changes to the current situation in the Northwest Territories. The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) continues to enhance our response to the COVID-19 pandemic in an ongoing effort to protect the health of the residents of the Northwest Territories.

All residents are reminded to follow the orders and advice from the Chief Public Health Officer during this challenging time.


For all COVID-19 Media Requests, Contact:

Cabinet Communications

Government of the Northwest Territories