GNWT: Public Health Emergency Extended

Press Release

Minister of Health and Social Services, Julie Green has extended the territory-wide Public Health Emergency under the Northwest Territories’ Public Health Act on the advice of Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) Dr. Kami Kandola.

The latest extension continues through September 29, 2020.

With record levels of COVID-19 transmission being reported in neighbouring jurisdictions, the risk to the Northwest Territories is increased. The extension of the Public Health Emergency is necessary in order to respond decisively to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Reminders to NWT residents:

  • The GNWT is reminding everyone that travel within the NWT remains restricted upon arrival with limited exceptions. It is an offense to travel within the NWT without an exemption under the Public Health Orders.
  • Everyone entering the NWT is required to self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith with few exceptions – no matter how long your trip out of the territory is.
  • Self-isolation is the frontline of our COVID-19 defence. If you’re required to self-isolate, do your part and stick to the self-isolation plan.
  • By keeping physical distance of two metres, keeping our circles and gatherings small, washing our hands, keeping our coughs and sneezes to ourselves, and wearing non-medical masks when it’s difficult to keep physical distance will help keep everyone safer by preventing cases from becoming outbreaks.

Recent COVID-19 NWT Updates:

  • The territory continues to increase epidemiological surveillance capacity to prepare for the continuing pandemic.
  • The wastewater surveillance program announced last week is one of the most ambitious in the country – covering roughly half of the territory’s population and 100% of isolation centres. This can provide an early indication of whether COVID-19 is present in the territory, and allow for targeted advice and action.
  • The wastewater surveillance program will complement an aggressive testing program. Solutions are being finalized for increasing rapid testing capacity in the territory so patients can get results quickly.

All NWT residents, workers and visitors have a responsibility and role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and we must take the necessary steps to protect each other. If that responsibility holds, the Northwest Territories is in a good position to manage this pandemic.

For more information and to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 in the territory, visit the Government of the Northwest Territories COVID-19 Website at

Media contact:

Mike Westwick
Manager, Communications (COVID-19 Response)
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
[email protected]


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