The Government of the Northwest Territories is asking staff who travel outside the NWT for the holidays to work from home on the three days following their return.
The move, announced in a news release on Monday afternoon, reflects the chief public health officer’s increasing concern that the 72 hours after returning to the territory are the most vital.
On Sunday, publicizing the first Omicron-variant case identified in the NWT, Dr Kami Kandola called for residents to be “extremely diligent” in the three days after their return.
Adopting a new slogan – “what to do for the first 72” – Dr Kandola urged people to limit their contact with others, wear a well-made mask in social settings, avoid “high-risk activities,” and stay away from large gatherings.
A day after that advice was published, the territorial government said it would keep “many GNWT employees” out of the workplace for the 72 hours following their return from travel.
“This applies to the first three calendar days after their arrival, not just weekdays. If an employee is not scheduled to work within the first three days of their return, this will not apply to them,” the territory said in a news release.
“This is intended to help keep communities and GNWT worksites safe.”
The requirement will not apply to essential workers or anyone who wasn’t sent to work from home during the territory’s periods of switching to home work earlier in the pandemic. Nor does it apply to healthcare workers or teachers.
“Employees are advised to speak to their supervisor about their situation, and to make arrangements to work from home,” the territory’s statement concluded.