COVID-19 Updates

COVID Testing

If you are experiencing severe symptoms such as shortness of breath or a worsening condition and feel that you need immediate medical care, call 9-1-1, and call ahead to your health centre or hospital facility to let them know you are coming to the facility. 

What to do if you test positive or think you have COVID?

If you test positive on any test, we recommend that you stay home and limit your contact with others. Consider for the next 10 days: wearing a mask while indoors, reducing your contacts (especially to vulnerable persons), physically distancing from others, avoiding high risk-activities and try to work alone if possible.

  • If you test positive on at at-home test, you do not require an in-person test
  • If you have non-urgent medical questions call 811.
  • If you are experiencing worrisome symptoms or cannot manage your symptoms at home, book an appointment to see your healtcare provider. If you have difficulty breathing or any serious symptoms, please call 911.

Household Contacts of Positive Cases

If someone in your household tests positive and you are symptomatic, we recommend that you limit your contacts for 10 days. Self-monitor for symptoms, consider for the next 10 days: wearing a mask while indoors, reducing your contacts (especially to vulnerable persons), physically distance from others, avoiding high risk activities and try to work alone in possible.

  • Testing is not necessary if you do not have symptoms, but you can take an at-home Rapid Antigen Test if you wish.
  • If you develop symptoms: stay home, follow the above instructions for individuals who have tested positive. At-home testing is optional.

Testing Guidance

As with many other common viral infections (e.g., the flu), COVID-19 testing is only recommended when the result of a test will inform decisions about treatment or care. If you are generally in good health and are experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19, you do not need to be tested.

Tests are available in your community:

Availability of free tests in communities by grocery stores and other community places will be stopping in the new year.  The NWT has been receiving tests through a federal program which is coming to an end soon.  For those with worrisome symptoms or that cannot manage your symptoms at home local health centres will still be able to assess if a test is required to inform decisions regarding treatment or care otherwise, we do not recommend testing. 

COVID-19 testing to inform treatment is available in all NWT communities when ordered by a healthcare provider.

At-Home Testing Kits

Downloadable PDF: Rapid Antigen At-Home Test Kit instructions

Free rapid antigen tests are available through North West Company and Arctic Co-op grocery stores in the following locations:

  • Inuvik
  • Aklavik
  • Fort McPherson
  • Paulatuk
  • Tsiigehtchic
  • Ulukhaktok
  • Fort Simpson
  • Fort Liard
  • Fort Providence
  • Norman Wells
  • Tulita
  • Délı̨nę
  • Hay River (including K'atl'odeeche First Nation)
  • Fort Resolution
  • Fort Smith
  • Behchokǫ̀
  • Sachs Harbour
  • Lutsel K’e
  • Colville Lake

In Yellowknife, testing kits are available at the Yellowknife Primary Care Clinic, Frame Lake Community Health Clinic and Yellowknife Public Health (Jan Stirling Building). For all other NWT communities, arrangements are in progress to deliver testing kits at this time. Click here for more information on the federal government testing kit program.