The Government of the Northwest Territories is working to recover orders of KN95 masks that had been recalled by Health Canada earlier this week.

The territorial government issued a news release Friday evening stating that it is working with community governments and organizations now that many of the masks – made in China – can’t be used.

On May 11, Health Canada recalled the masks because they don’t meet the 95 per cent filtration specifications for medical respirators in Canada.

“As part of the GNWT’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and recognizing that acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE) would be challenging for governments and organizations in the NWT due to increased global demand, the GNWT is working to procure PPE and distribute bulk orders throughout the territory,” the news release states. “The orders in question were part of this effort to support communities, Indigenous governments and non-government organizations.”

The news release states that procuring personal protective equipment has been very challenging for the territorial government as equipment is in demand across the country and globally.

“The KN95 masks were ordered before the Health Canada recall was issued,” states the release. “The GNWT is contacting the community governments and organizations who received these shipments of KN95 masks and informing them they cannot be used for medical or industrial purposes.”

Premier Caroline Cochrane said in a statement that her government is working to ensure a shortage of the masks never takes place again.

“The GNWT takes this matter very seriously and we are doing all we can to inform communities and organizations about the KN95 mask recall and to ensure we have the processes in place to prevent a similar situation from happening again,” she stated. ” We are already actively working to replenish this order as we assist communities and residents to find the PPE supplies that will protect them from the COVID-19 virus and keep them safe.”

The full news release can be read here. 


Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. He came from Prince Edward County, Ont., and obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University...

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