GNWT launches COVID-19 pilot screening project

Businesses and organizations in the NWT will soon be able to quickly detect COVID-19 in staff.

The GNWT has released DetectNWT, a program responsible for detecting COVID-19 in employees who may not show symptoms.

Territorial health officials say the program adds another layer of protection and “reduces the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus in the workplace, at home and in the community.”

Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) is now accepting applications, here.

The Panbio COVID-19 test kits are free of charge, but approved organizations will need to undergo an online training program, to properly facilitate the test.

Training will take less than an hour.

Any resident with this training is able to perform their own test, which will be ready in about 15 minutes.

The kits are equipped with 25 swabs and two additional contingency swabs.

NTHSSA has acquired an initial supply of 30,000 Abbott Panbio rapid antigen tests for this program.

Health officials say, “If demand exceeds capacity, program intake will prioritize areas of highest impact.” Such as businesses or services with higher foot traffic.

Vulnerable populations, high-exposure settings, essential services and sectors that support economic and social activities will be prioritized during the selection process.

Hungry for change

“Our guests trust us,” says Mark Henry, co-owner of the Copper House.

Henry believes it is his responsibility to ensure guests have a safe environment, that’s why he is one of the early supporters of the program.

“Business continuity, staying safe, these are things are important to us,” he says, “that’s why we’re really eager and happy to be part of this program.”

Henry will join Jason Brinson, executive director for the Salvation Army in being one of the early participants in this program.

“It’s well worth the investment,” says Henry.

For a full playbook of the program, click here.

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. Mariah is excited to begin her journey and career in Yellowknife, NWT, and get involved with the community. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at