GNWT shuts down Yellowknife Covid-19 testing facility
A Covid-19 testing centre near Yellowknife’s airport will close permanently on Friday, the NWT’s health authority says.
Fewer than five people used the Archibald Street facility each day over the past month, the health authority stated in a Monday advisory on its website, adding that “testing guidance has changed.”
The health authority instead directed people to rapid tests freely available at Yellowknife City Hall, the city’s fieldhouse and its visitor centre.
“Testing at a health facility will be provided only on request from a healthcare provider who requires this information to inform advice or treatment,” the health authority stated.
“Residents who are in high-risk groups and believe they have Covid-19 should consult with a healthcare provider for guidance on testing and treatment options.”
The testing facility opened at 108 Archibald Street, on a road ordinarily used to access diamond sorting plants and airport hangars, in January 2021. The building was one of two purchased from the GNWT in 2014 by Deepak International, a supposed diamond polishing operation that never came to fruition amid allegations of fraud.
When January 2022 brought a surge of Covid-19 infections to start the year, people lined up outside the facility in temperatures approaching -40C to get a test.
At the time, at-home rapid tests were barely available in the NWT. Their availability has increased significantly as the year has gone on.
The NWT government ended regular reporting of most Covid-19 data in the summer. Last week, the territory’s chief public health officer told the CBC Covid-19 and RSV infections are on the decline but the number of flu infections is increasing.