NWT launches 8-1-1 hotline for Covid-19 information

Last modified: April 17, 2020 at 9:29am

The Northwest Territories had so much fun launching 9-1-1, it’s doing it again. The territory now has an 8-1-1 number for help and information about Covid-19.

The NWT government launched the service on Friday, billing it as a one-stop shop for residents seeking advice about Covid-19 testing and enforcement.

Diane Thom, the health minister, said the line would “help unify our services under one portal and get our residents the help they need throughout this pandemic.”


Calling 8-1-1 in the territory will now get you help regarding:

  • travel, self-isolation, and regional self-isolation centres;
  • enforcement (this is the number you now call to report something);
  • whether or not you should contact your health centre for a Covid-19 test (offering an equivalent of the online self-assessment tool for those who can’t access it);
  • which services are still available in your community; and
  • other questions about Covid-19, including contact details for other services as needed.

The line will run from 8am until 8pm seven days a week. Calls about enforcement are the exception – they will be routed to on-call staff 24 hours a day.

“Interpretation services will be available for those who need it,” the NWT government said in a news release.

The territory says 8-1-1 isn’t a clinical advice line (don’t call it expecting to speak to a doctor) and it can’t help you with anything to do with pharmacies.

The old toll-free numbers formerly publicized by the NWT will still work, too. However, 8-1-1 will only work within the Northwest Territories.


If you’re outside the territory and have questions about getting back in, call 1-833-378-8297.