COVID-19 infections in the Northwest Territories (NWT) are now presumed to be the result of the Omicron variant. The following recommendations were made by the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHA). These recommendations are in place to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, which is highly contagious. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will reduce pressures on NWT systems and services, such as health, education and critical infrastructure.
What to do for the first 72
Anyone entering the NWT should follow the advice and recommendations given after arriving in the NWT for the 72 hours.
Gatherings and workplaces
One of the most important things we’ve learned about COVID-19 is how epidemics start. Large gatherings where many people mingle are high risk. Risk assessments of activities and community safety nets help us think about what is happening to make good choices to help protect you and your community, especially those who are at higher risk of serious consequences from COVID-19.
- Keep groups small and spaces large
- Consider gathering outdoors
- Provide sanitary stations
- Follow cleaning protocols
- Follow distancing protocols
- Reduce mixing between tables
- Provide a distance of three meters between the artists and the public
- Determine if masking requirements are appropriate
- Establish special times, spaces or considerations for people who are at higher risk of serious consequences from COVID-19
Notice to all businesses, organizers of gatherings, clubs and teams: There is no longer any public health order related to gatherings. Therefore, you do not need an application to change public health orders.
Healthy habits are things you can do every day and can be especially important to implement in high-risk settings.
- Wearing a good, well-fitting mask reduces the spread of respiratory droplets.
- Keeping a distance between yourself and others will also help.
- Use soap to wash away stubborn particles that hide in the tiny lines and folds of our skin or under your fingernails
- Keep surfaces clean, especially if someone in your home is sick.
- Stay home when you are sick until you feel better.
- Watch for symptoms if you may have been exposed.
To find out more, take the healthy habits safety nets quiz or learn more about how they work. Knowing how and why they work can help you feel more in control of your safety.
Insulate in place
Most people who get COVID-19 will not need to be hospitalized. Most people can recover at home or in the residence where they are staying when they become ill. It is important to self-isolate as the Omicron variant is highly contagious. Therefore, any movement out of a household to another residence or accommodation is likely to increase the risk of spreading COVID-19 to other members of the community.
While traveling, you may become HIV-positive or end up sharing accommodation with someone who tests positive and has to self-isolate when not at home. You must be prepared for this possibility. If you are hosting friends or family from another community in your home, be prepared to self-isolate with them as household contacts if they need to self-isolate while they stay with you.
We know that immunity wanes over time. Please ensure you are up to date on vaccinations, including booster doses which are now available and when CPHA announces any additional doses approved by the National Advisory Board on Immunization.
Anyone requiring self-isolation due to COVID-19 (those with confirmed COVID-19, household contacts, and symptomatic individuals) is recommended to get tested if available. Testing may not be possible if demand exceeds capacity. Whether you are tested or not, you must always meet the isolation requirements. For more information, see Isolation due to COVID-19 or use this browsing tool.
Wearing face masks in indoor public spaces is currently mandatory in the NWT. The following federal guidelines recommend using medical masks and respirators in the following situations, if possible:
- Anyone who has tested positive or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19.
- People caring for someone who has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19.
- People who live in a crowded environment with someone who tests positive or has symptoms of COVID-19.
- People who are at risk of contracting a more serious illness or suffering from COVID-19.
- People who are at higher risk of being exposed to COVID-19 due to their living situation.
For more information, please see COVID-19 Mask Use: Tips for Community Settings