Don't go near the hospital this weekend (unless, you know, something's wrong)

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Yellowknife's new hospital begins accepting patients for the first time on Sunday.

While some residents may be interested in admiring the new building, those in charge are asking people to stay away unless you genuinely need hospital treatment.

"Residents are encouraged to avoid the hospital area this weekend unless they have an emergency," stated the Twitter account of the project, known as Stanton Renewal.

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From 6am on Sunday, May 26, the old Stanton Territorial Hospital will no longer be the place to go if you need emergency treatment or you're in labour.

The good news is, if you happen to accidentally head to the old hospital, the new one is about 60 feet away on the right – so the error should be easily corrected.

The NWT's health authority and Department of Health and Social Services are hoping for a quiet Sunday to help the transition go as smoothly as possible.

The Stanton Renewal team has also posted a list of services that will be suspended, or will operate at a reduced capacity, while the switch between hospitals takes place.

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Work on the new hospital began in October 2015. The facility came with a $350-million initial price tag, followed by annual payments of $18 million to Boreal Health Partnership over a 30-year period (which includes annual maintenance costs).

The territory's website for the project states around $72 million has been spent in the North.

The old hospital, which first opened in 1988, will be refitted before housing a combination of extended care beds, long-term care beds, a primary care clinic, and various outpatient services.

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