Region by region: How many Covid-19 tests are taking place in the NWT

The Northwest Territories and Yukon are together testing more of their population than any other part of Canada. Here’s a breakdown of where in the NWT that’s happening.

As of late Thursday, the Yukon and NWT together had completed 1,076 tests. When we say complete, we mean the test was done and the result has come back.

That’s a small number of tests compared to most provinces but, when you compare the number of completed tests to each place’s population, the NWT and Yukon have tested significantly more of their residents than anywhere else in the nation.


Prince Edward Island, for example, had completed 556 tests as of Thursday afternoon. That’s three fewer completed tests than the NWT. The territory has roughly 45,000 people, while PEI has more than 150,000.

Within the NWT, test numbers have been helped by the introduction of a drive-through testing clinic in Yellowknife. Only those who think they might have Covid-19 symptoms should attend but, if you think that’s you, it’s easy to drive up and get assessed – including a Covid-19 nasal swab if public health staff think you need it. Here’s how the drive-through clinic works.

On Thursday evening, the NWT government provided Cabin Radio with a breakdown of how many tests have been carried out in different parts of the territory.

This information is correct up to Thursday, March 26.

Beaufort Delta


Negative tests: 65
Still waiting for the result: 15


Negative tests: 18
Still waiting for the result: 17

Fort Smith


Negative tests: 81
Still waiting for the result: 11

Hay River

Negative tests: 38
Still waiting for the result: 7

Negative tests: 15
Still waiting for the result: 4


Negative tests: 27
Still waiting for the result: 12


Positive tests: 1
Negative tests: 314
Still waiting for the result: 229

The NWT government released Yellowknife as the location of its first positive Covid-19 test last Saturday, but has said it will not release the location if subsequent positive tests are located in smaller communities.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 – a dry cough, difficulty breathing, or a fever – and you think you need a test, or you would like to consult a public health worker, you can find the list of contact numbers on the NWT government’s website.

There’s also an online self-assessment tool you can use to see if you need a test.

If you want to know what it’s like to get a test, you can read more on our website.