Northern and NorthMart stores in the Northwest Territories will soon provide Covid-19 rapid tests free of charge, the territory’s health minister says.
Julie Green said Northwest Company and Arctic Co-Op stores in the NWT would carry the tests, while other distribution methods will be found for communities without stores operated by either company.
For example, Green said, her department is working with the City of Yellowknife to provide tests via one of its facilities.
The minister said distribution of tests in Colville Lake, Sachs Harbour and Łútsël K’é, which also don’t have stores belonging to either company, is the subject of discussion between the territorial government and those communities.
The Northwest Company is providing delivery of tests via community governments in Kakisa, Gamètì, Wekweètì, Whatì, Jean Marie River, Nahanni Butte, Sambaa K’e, Wrigley and Enterprise.
Testing will remain available at community health centres, but rapid tests won’t be available at airports or land borders after the end of March, at which point the NWT’s public health emergency related to Covid-19 will end.
Schools “have a good stockpile of tests now, I’m told, and they will be able to access tests in the future,” said Green, answering questions from Hay River South MLA Rocky Simpson in the legislature.