More tests for NJ students, Covid-19 centre set up at school

Signs at Yellowknife's NJ Macpherson School on May 3, 2021
Signs at Yellowknife's NJ Macpherson School on May 3, 2021. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

Families connected to the Covid-19 outbreak at Yellowknife’s NJ Macpherson School have been given new testing instructions by the NWT’s health authority.

In a letter to parents on Monday, the health authority said it will open a dedicated test centre at the school’s gym on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Hundreds of people are expected to be tested.

Only NJ Macpherson students and staff will be tested at the site. The main test centre near the city’s airport remains operational.

The new instructions for affected students and staff override days of changing guidance on who exactly requires a test and when.



“We are asking all staff and students to be tested again unless you were already tested on Monday of this week (May 3) or later, or if you have already been tested twice related to this outbreak,” the letter read. It is specific to NJ Macpherson students and their families, and does not apply to others.

“If you have already tested positive, you do not need repeat testing. Please do not come to the school in this case,” the letter continued.

Family members with symptoms of Covid-19 were asked not to attend the NJ Macpherson site but to separately contact public health for a test.

Parents reported receiving the fresh instructions by email late on Monday.



The health authority issued an accompanying testing schedule, allocating time slots on Tuesday and Wednesday to separate classes at the school.

The YK1 school board underlined in a Tuesday statement that only NJ Macpherson students and staff should attend, and only during their allotted time period.

More broadly, the NWT government has been scrambling to establish and staff expanded Covid-19 testing for Yellowknife, promising more appointments in the coming days.