Too many no-shows for COVID-19 testing in Yellowknife, says health authority

·1 min read
The COVID-19 testing site in Yellowknife. The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority says people who no longer need a test should cancel their appointment. (Sara Minogue/CBC - image credit)
The COVID-19 testing site in Yellowknife. The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority says people who no longer need a test should cancel their appointment. (Sara Minogue/CBC - image credit)

Almost a third of people who book appointments to get tested for COVID-19 in Yellowknife aren't showing up for their tests.

On Wednesday morning, the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority issued a statement asking residents to cancel their appointments if they can't make it or don't need the test any more.

It said there is already a high demand for testing, and cancelling unnecessary appointments means someone else gets the opportunity to have a test done instead.

"As many as 30 per cent of people are not showing up for booked appointments even after an email reminder [is] sent to all booked clients," the health authority wrote.

"Like many other aspects of the COVID pandemic, we have a collective responsibility as a community to manage resources to ensure necessary services are accessible to those who need them."

The health authority said there are longer waits for some booked appointments because of the increase in COVID-19 cases in the N.W.T.

Health workers will assess those who go to the Yellowknife testing centre for a booked appointment to see if they can take an at-home test instead.

The health authority added it provides a "quick, easy link" to cancel appointments when it sends out booking confirmation emails as well as emails reminding residents of their appointment.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 1,072 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the N.W.T., and the territory reported its first hospitalization since the Omicron variant took hold.

Most of those cases — 599 of them — are in the Yellowknife area.

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