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New rapid-testing devices introduced across NWT

A sign directs visitors to the COVID-19 drive-through test clinic. Blair McBride/NNSL photo

Six communities will be receiving new Covid-19 rapid-testing devices that can produce results in as little as 15 minutes, announced the Health and Social Services Authorities on Wednesday.

Hay River, Fort Smith, Norman Wells, Behchoko, Fort Simpson, and Yellowknife began using the the Abbot ID Now devices on Dec. 7. Plans are in place to expand to other communities in the coming weeks, according the news release.

The NWT now as 21 rapid testing devices operational and their quick results "ensure rapid results to support a quick public health response."

"Getting tested for Covid-19 as soon as you have any symptoms is absolutely crucial," states chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola.

"It’s the best way to identify cases, trace contacts, and isolate those at-risk immediately. As we move towards the holidays, with higher chances of any of us being exposed to Covid-19 than ever before, doing your part and getting assessed is what will keep our communities safe, and our territory stable as we finally see glimpses of light at the end of this tunnel."

According to the release, residents who haven't travelled within 14 days or been exposed to Covid-19 can return to regular activities after they receive a negative COVID-19 result, they have no fever and when their other symptoms improve. After all preliminary rapid testing, a second confirmation swab is sent to another laboratory.