As post-secondary students wrap-up winter semesters and re-enter the territory for the summer, the GNWT is reminding residents about protocols for staying safe with the incoming surge of out-of-territory travellers.
All those returning to the NWT must submit a self-isolation plan prior to their return and self-isolate when they arrive in one of the four hubs – Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik, Yellowknife – are covered for returning students and their dependents.
Students are also permitted to isolate in their own accommodations provided they havs their own entrance, kitchen and bathroom, or if all the members of the household isolate together, Department of Health and Social Services spokesperson Damien Healy said Thursday in a statement.
Christina Carrigan, spokesperson with the Department of Educations, Culture and Employment (ECE) told NNSL Media approximately 825 students studying at out-of-territory post-secondary institutions are receiving the GNWT Student Financial Assistance fund.
She added, however, that ECE does not have a means for determining the number of students who have actually left the territory for their schooling and how many have continued their studies remotely from inside NWT borders.
As self-isolation has been “one of the pillars of the GNWT’s COVID-19 response,” COVID-19 Secretariat communications manager Darren Campbell stresses the importance of submitting self-isolation plans no later than 24 hours prior to arrival.
“As NWT students return to the territory after studying outside the territory, the GWNT is also encouraging them to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their family, friends and communities,” Campbell said.
Students who live in Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik, or Norman Wells can contact their to arrange vaccination in their home community. Those living in Yellowknife can book online or by calling (867) 767-9120.
Adult NWT students returning to smaller communities outside of the regional centres mentioned above who would like to get vaccinated can e-mail CPHO@gov.nt.ca with their full name, home community, isolation community, contact number and the date of their return to the NWT.
The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) emphasized that students who do not return to the NWT for the summer are unlikely to qualify for the vaccine in other provinces or territories where they are not a resident.
“I encourage all returning post-secondary students to do their part and get vaccinated so that we can continue to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities from COVID-19,” ECE Minister R.J. Simpson said in Thursday’s statement.
“The health and safety of our residents and communities is of the utmost importance.”