Six communities get rapid COVID tests 

An outdoor testing site was set up in Yellowknife in late March. (CKLB file photo.)

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority has sent rapid COVID tests to every region of the NWT.

According to the NTHSSA, the Abbot ID Now machines can return results within 15 minutes. The NWT now has 21 of these machines. They will be available in Hay River, Fort Smith, Norman Wells, Behchokǫ̀, Fort Simpson and Yellowknife.

In a news release, the NTHSSA says there are plans to send rapid tests to other communities “in the coming weeks.”

“As we move towards the holidays, with higher chances of any of us being exposed to COVID-19 than ever before, doing your part and getting assessed is what will keep our communities safe,” says Dr. Kami Kandola, the chief public health officer.

Each ID Now machine can process about 25 tests per day.

Despite the quick results, the NTHSSA says they are considered presumptive. Whether positive or negative, a second swab will be taken and confirmed at one of the territory’s two hospitals. If positive, though, the person will need to begin self-isolation immediately.

A reminder that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should contact their local health centre to get tested.

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis has been a general news reporter with CKLB since January 2019. Originally from rural Ontario, he first came to the NWT in 2016 as an intern with Up Here magazine and fell in love with the North. In his time with CKLB, he's had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures. Otherwise, you can find him hanging around the Legislative Assembly. If you have a story or want to chat, reach out to francis@cklbradio.com