COVID-19 wastewater program coming to the NWT

The government says samples of sewage water may help detect the presence of COVID-19 in local communities.

(Photo courtesy of the GNWT)

The government is launching a wastewater testing program to potentially detect the presence of COVID-19 in the territories.

The program will collect sewage samples from Hay River, Yellowknife, Inuvik, Fort Smith and Fort Simpson.

The government says they suspect this program to cover half the population’s and 100 per cent of all the isolation centres, excluding Fort Simpson.

This data can serve as an early warning sign, although the presence of COVID-19 does not necessarily indicate the active transmission of COVID-19 in the community, as stated in a press release.

“Our territory is using every tool at our disposal to prepare for another surge in infections,” says Caroline Cochrane, premier of the NWT.

The program will be led by the office of the Chief Public Health Officer, municipal bodies and Environment and Natural Resources.

Indigenous Services Canada has invested $100,000 to purchase the equipment and coordinate the delivery of the program.

The sampling equipment is expected to arrive in the next two-to-three weeks, as stated in a press release.

So far, samples have been collected in Yellowknife and Hay River.

The wastewater testing program will begin in the three other communities, next week.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. On her spare time, you can find her at your local coffee shop writing songs, poetry and prose or at the gym out-lifting men. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at or call 867-766-2552 Ext 108