PUBLIC NOTICE - March 17th NTHSSA Operational Update

(March 17, 2020) – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) continues to adjust our operations. Our goal at this time is to ensure we have the right level of services in place to reserve and reallocate limited resources, protect vulnerable populations, and reduce unnecessary travel to reduce the potential for spread and exposure for our staff and the public. 

Starting today:

  • Non-essential medical travel to Alberta and within the NWT will be ramped down over the coming days. Travel for essential care and services will continue on a case-by-case basis. We will be replacing as many appointments as possible with virtual appointments where possible.
  • Travel of specialist physicians to specialist clinics delivered in communities across the Northwest Territories will be cancelled and replaced with virtual appointments where possible.
  • Non-urgent and non-emergent endoscopy procedures will be cancelled
  • All elders day programs delivered by the health and social services authorities will be cancelled
  • Oral health programs, normally delivered through schools, will be cancelled 
  • Sick notes will no longer be issued. Employers need to support public health efforts by allowing staff who are sick to stay home or staff returning from travel to isolate based on advice from the Chief Public Health Officer of the Northwest Territories
  • Visitation to long-term care will be immediately cancelled. 
  • Visitation to acute care sites will be limited to one person per visit. 

We emphasize, please do not visit care sites unless required, if you need care and services and have flu like symptoms, call ahead before presenting. Also note that primary care visits by family physicians to communtiies will continue. 

As this situation continues to evolve the NTHSSA will continue to complete overarching reviews of services. Announcements about service-wide cancellations will be made on our website,, and impacted patients who have appointments already booked will be contacted. 

If you are experiencing flu like symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) please call before you come to a heath facility:

  • Yellowknife: 867-767-9120
  • Inuvik: 867-490-2225
  • Fort Smith: 867-872-6219 or 867-872-6221
  • Hay River: 867-874-7201 Call Public Health at (867) 874-7201 between 08:30 to 16:30. After hours, please contact our Emergency Department at (867) 874-8050 
  • Other Communities can call the local health centre,

If you need immediate medical care please call 911.