Public Notice - Updates to Long Term Care Services and Elders Day Programs

(July 3, 2020) - The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) requires that all Long Term Care (LTC) facilities in the NWT implement enhanced outbreak prevention activities. These enhanced outbreak prevention activities in LTC facilities, including visitor restrictions, have helped to ensure our Elders and Seniors stay safe, and to this point free from COVID-19.

We must remain diligent in protecting LTC residents, and this includes exercising caution as we introduce changes in these facilities as we Emerge Wisely as a Territory. 

It is important to note that increased restrictions in LTC will remain until the pandemic is over, and we will not lessen restrictions in LTC to the same level as the public until a vaccine is available. Our approach to lessening restrictions has been to start introducing changes in LTC two weeks after the start of each Phase of Emerging Wisely. This allows us to monitor the situation in the NWT and ensure there is no known community spread before loosening restrictions. Emerging Wisely Phase 2 visitation guidelines for Long Term Care came into effect on Monday June 29, 2020. 

During Phase 2 of Emerging Wisely, we have begun a phased approach to introducing in-person visits with residents. It will begin with LTC residents being able to have 1 essential visitor, who must be over 18 years of age. Regional managers and supervisors are now working with residents and families to designate 1 essential visitor for each resident and put a schedule in place to ensure only a total of 5 visitors at any one time are in the facility.

Visitors will also be required to go through screening, sanitize their hands, wear a medical mask, and keep physical distancing while they are visiting.

In addition to changes in LTC, Elders day programs that are not run out of a LTC facility will be opening up to community members. The total number of individuals present for each program event will be limited to 10 people, including facilitators and staff, and a sign-in log will be kept for each event of the program. All clients accessing the day program will be required to go through the screening process, maintain physical distance of 2 meters and perform hand hygiene.

To find more information on current service levels, visitation restrictions, and visitor processes at health care facilities, please visit or speak with your health care provider about current considerations that are relevant to your needs.

For more information please contact:

David Maguire 
Manager, Communications | Gestionnaire des communications
Corporate and Support Services | Services d’administration et de soutien
Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority | Administration des services de santé et des services sociaux des Territoires du Nord-Ouest
Phone | Tél: 867-767-9107, ext. 40150