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NWT issues new Covid screening guidance for schools


The Northwest Territories chief public health officer has issued new guidance for students, teachers, and other school staff with symptoms of Covid-19.

In a press release on Friday, Dr Kami Kandola said students and school staff with symptoms of Covid-19 are encouraged to stay home and arrange an appointment with their health care provider or Covid-19 testing if necessary. 

According to daily symptom screening advice for students and staff, anyone experiencing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing should call 911. Anyone experiencing fever, new or worsening cough, or loss of sense of smell or taste should get assessed by a health care practitioner.

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Anyone with two of the following symptoms should also see a health care practitioner, while those experiencing just one of the following symptoms should arrange for Covid-19 testing: generally feeling unwell, chills, muscle aches, fatigue or weakness, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, headache, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and skin changes or rash. 

There is now a new option for limited return-to-school testing appointments, which has been added to the Yellowknife online booking site

“If a child has a cold or other illness, being at school could spread this illness to other students,” the release states. “Keeping children at home if they have symptoms of COVID-19 will provide reassurance and make schools safer for the remainder of the school year.”

For children or staff who have frequent or recurrent symptoms of Covid-19 due to other health conditions, like seasonal allergies, their health care provider will provide guidance on what to do, including whether re-testing will be required and how often. 

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After someone is assessed, Kandola said health care providers will provide an assessment card indicating that they can safely return to school. That card will not include any private health information.

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