Education, Culture and Employment COVID-19 Updates


NWT COVID-19 updates

JK-12 schools and licensed childcare programs

Apprenticeships, Trades and Occupational Certification

Applications for Apprenticeships, Trades and Occupational Certification will continue to be processed. Please note there may be delays in processing applications.

For more information, contact 

Employment Standards

While all the provisions in the Employment Standards Act remain in place, the Employment Standards office is encouraging employers to be flexible with employees requiring self-isolation, requirement of doctor’s notes, and family care responsibilities during this time.

For more information, contact

Read more information for employers and businesses.

Event cancellations

The following is a list of ECE-led or supported events that have been cancelled or postponed.

  • Rainbow Youth Conference
  • Northern Distance Learning Post-Secondary Bridging Experience
  • Education Hall of Fame
  • In-person meetings of the Official Languages Board

Francophone Affairs Secretariat / Services TNO

In an effort to protect the health and safety of our staff and the clients we serve, the Services TNO office is currently closed to the public.

To access assistance with GNWT services and information in French that are unrelated to health, please contact Services TNO by phone or email Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.:

For health inquiries and information related to COVID-19, please visit the Health and Social Services website.

Immigration, Nominee Program and Temporary Foreign Workers

The NWT works closely with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. While applications continue to be received, please prepare for processing delays under current global health and safety precautions and guidelines. For more detailed information, please refer to the IRCC web page.

Income Assistance, Benefits and Subsidies

All income security programs provided by ECE remain uninterrupted, including:

  • Income Assistance 
  • NWT Child Benefit
  • Senior Citizen Supplementary Benefit
  • Senior Home Heating Subsidy

In an effort to protect the health and safety of our staff and the clients we serve, effective Monday, March 23, 2020, ECE will be practicing social distancing by having the majority of our Department staff working from at home.

For those ECE staff that are considered essential, and who will be required to be on site at their work place, ECE has put into place extra measures for the safety of both our staff and clients. This means that essential services such as Income Assistance and Senior Home Heating Subsidy (SHHS) will be provided primarily over the phone, by email and through pre-scheduled appointments for all face to face meetings. We will accept collect calls.

Our Regional Service Centres have the building doors locked with information posted at each door letting the public know how to contact the staff and arrange for appointments.

When clients are having a face to face meeting, ECE has put processes in place to ensure that there will be at least 6 feet between both the client and the staff member so that proper social distancing is maintained.


All public libraries in the NWT are closed.

Library services provided by the GNWT, including the Borrow by Mail Program, may experience delays in service. For more information, contact NWT Public Library Services.

Northern Counselling and Therapeutic Services

Communities served by Northern Counselling and Therapeutic Services will be able to receive remote counselling services.

Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre and NWT Archives

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC) and NWT Archives will be closed to the public until further notice as a precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories.

Public access to the exhibits, special events, auditorium rentals, and public and private tours have been discontinued. The Museum Café will also be closed during this time.

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment recognizes the value of our cultural and heritage resources, and PWNHC staff will continue to ensure the protection and management of museum collections and archival records throughout this temporary public closure.

Archaeological permits

Archaeologists planning to conduct research in the NWT continue to require a NWT Archaeologist Permit. Permit applications will continue to be processed during this time. Please note there may be some delays in processing applications and issuing permits. 

Arts and culture funding

NWT Arts Council, Support to Northern Performers Grants, Arts Organizations, Heritage Centres and Indigenous Cultural Organizations Operational funding applications will continue to be processed. Please note there may be some delays in processing applications and payments. 

Post-Secondary Students and Student Financial Assistance

Effective immediately, the NWT Chief Public Health Officer has ordered that NWT residents travelling into the NWT by air and road must immediately self-isolate for 14 days upon return to the NWT, regardless of if they have symptoms or not. 

The 14 days self-isolation period must only take place in the communities of Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith. Residents must complete a self-isolation plan that must be approved by the NWT Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO). 

To find out more information and get a copy of the self-isolation plan template to complete, contact or call 1-833-378-8297 between the hours of 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

Student records

As of March 19, 2020, the majority of GNWT staff are practicing social distancing and working remotely. Requests for student records, including transcripts and day school records, will continue to be processed. During this time, you will experience delays in the processing of student transcripts. We are in contact with post-secondary institutions and will prioritize the processing of transcripts accordingly. We thank you for your patience.

Teacher certification

Teacher certification applications will continue to be processed. Please note there may be delays in processing applications.