PUBLIC NOTICE: Increasing demand in Yellowknife due to respiratory virus season leading to longer than normal expected wait times; impacts in Acute Care and Primary Care Services

Public Notice

(Yellowknife, January 5, 2024) - The NTHSSA is advising residents that ongoing demands related to respiratory virus season caused by Influenza, RSV, and COVID-19 are causing increased pressure on services in Yellowknife at Stanton Territorial Hospital and Primary Care sites in the capital.

We are also seeing cases of respiratory illness in other areas of the territory and after the holiday travel period this is likely to increase, all residents should be diligent in this period and should follow healthy habits.

Stanton Territorial Hospital’s ICU and in-patient units are currently seeing high volumes of admissions, including for the past week where admitted patient numbers have exceeded 100% of Stanton’s bed capacity.  This may mean that admitted patients are held in the Emergency Department for longer periods of time until an appropriate inpatient bed becomes available.

We are also seeing higher than usual visits to the Emergency Department at Stanton Territorial Hospital. Patients presenting to the Emergency Department will be triaged based on the urgency of their symptoms, however in general wait times will be longer than normal.

Primary Care is experiencing higher than usual demand for same day appointments.  Yellowknife Region is attempting to ensure as many appointments are available as possible, however we continue to be impacted by practitioner and staff shortages.

Residents are encouraged get vaccinated for Influenza and Covid-19, and to practice healthy habits including washing hands, wearing a mask, and staying home if feeling unwell.

Anyone who is sick and is unsure if need to be seen in Primary Care or the Emergency Department can call 811 to speak to a Registered Nurse. As always, residents who are experiencing an emergency such as difficulty breathing or other serious symptoms should call 911, or go to a Health Centre or Emergency Department immediately.