The “worried well” are placing undue strain on the Department of Health’s ability to test for COVID-19 and contact trace effectively.
The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer said in an update Aug. 18 that unless you’re symptomatic (feeling sick), you should stay home and self-monitor.
“We are seeing high volumes of the ‘worried well’ showing up to be swabbed, when these resources need to be directed to priority areas,” the update read. “Using our testing resources in the right places will allow us to protect everyone by tracing contacts quicker.”
With the current outbreak of COVID-19 the focus of testing resources is those who are symptomatic or “DIRECT” contacts of confirmed cases, the update continued. “If anyone is a known contact of a positive case they will be contacted.
“Everyone should monitor for symptoms and reach out to their local health centre – or in Yellowknife book online – if feeling unwell to coordinate testing. At this time please do not seek testing just because you are worried.”
The update came hours after the OCPHO declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Sahtú Dene Nechá Ko ̨́ long-term care facility in Norman Wells, and expanded the list of possible exposure locations in Yellowknife and around the territory.