No more lab confirmation for low-risk N.W.T. residents with positive COVID rapid test

·1 min read
The COVID-19 testing site in Yellowknife. Low risk N.W.T. residents who test positive on a take-home test will not be required to follow up with a lab test.  (Sara Minogue/CBC - image credit)
The COVID-19 testing site in Yellowknife. Low risk N.W.T. residents who test positive on a take-home test will not be required to follow up with a lab test. (Sara Minogue/CBC - image credit)

N.W.T. residents who are less likely to become seriously sick from COVID-19 are now required to self-report positive take home rapid tests, meaning they will not need to follow up with a laboratory test.

"Testing centres must prioritize laboratory resources to concentrate on highest-risk individuals and will no longer confirm most at-home positive tests," reads a media release issued by the N.W.T. territorial government Friday afternoon.

People considered low-risk are those who are younger than 60, vaccinated and those with no underlying health issues.

The territorial government announced it is considering all imported cases to the N.W.T. to be the highly contagious Omicron variant.

High-risk people include the unvaccinated, people taking immune suppressing drugs, the elderly, those who are pregnant and people with various medical conditions that makes them vulnerable to the virus.

Anyone in the higher-risk category can arrange for a lab test after testing positive on the take home rapid test.

Take home COVID rapid tests are provided at airports, through N.W.T. schools, and through the DetectNWT program. The media release says rapid antigen tests will also become available through health centres soon, and are currently available at the COVID-19 testing clinic in Yellowknife for eligible recipients.

Anyone considered low-risk who tests positive to a take-home test, must self isolate and call ProtectNWT to report their results.

The media release says residents who test positive may be asked to inform their close contacts of their test result.

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