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COVID-19 GN Update - April 17, 2020

17 April 2020

Deputy premier’s update:

There are still no confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

Today, the total number of people under investigation to date is 430. 231 people are currently under investigation and 199 people are no longer under investigation.

I won’t take up too much time as Minister Joanasie will make an important announcement in just a few moments. However, I do want to remind all Nunavummiut just how important is to ensure you take all our measures to limit and slow the spread of COVID-19 seriously, especially as the weekend is here.

If you do not live with someone, you should not be hanging out with them. Don’t host or go to card games; don’t have or go to parties; don’t take unnecessary risks. Limit your interactions to those you live with.

And a reminder that mass gatherings are not permitted. As days become longer and the weather improves, it’s important to remember that even outside, people need to keep physical distance -at least six feet apart.

This also means that municipalities need the advice and approval of the Chief Public Health Officer for community spring activities like fishing derbies and snow machine races.

Our strict guidelines – around travel restrictions, social and physical distancing, staying home, and gatherings – are necessary for everyone.

These are uncertain, unprecedented times. Let’s stay focused and protect one other.

Stay safe and well, and have a good weekend.

 

 

Minister of Education update:

Ullukkut,

The well-being and success of Nunavut’s children and youth is the top priority of the Department of Education. In these uncertain times, we want to make sure students have the opportunity to thrive, and to pursue any future path they desire.

With students’ well-being in mind, I am announcing that as of today, all schools in Nunavut will be closed to students for the rest of the 2019-20 school year.

This closure is supported by the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO).

Because students have already missed over a month of class time, it is even more important that all school staff report to work on April 21, 2020.

As in other provinces and territories, Nunavut’s school staff are vital to ensuring our students do not fall behind in their education.

The Department of Education has developed guidelines to help school staff prepare learning packages to meet the specific needs of their students. Staff will work with students and their families to determine how best to support learning.

This means that for our students in Kindergarten to Grade 9, teachers will prioritize literacy and numeracy, while strengthening the skills and knowledge that have been taught so far this school year.

For high school students, teachers and administrators will evaluate their individual situations. Some students may already have completed the credits they need to graduate. Others may need to complete specific courses to be eligible to graduate. Teachers may provide opportunities for students to upgrade their marks or earn the credits they need by completing suggested assignments and projects.

Teachers will review their students’ outcomes to date, align them with skills that need to be strengthened, and take into consideration what is possible for them to accomplish at home. There will be a strong focus on supporting health and wellness, literacy, and numeracy for all students. This includes household projects and activities that allow families to learn together, such as reading together, journal writing, and projects that draw on the creativity of students.

The Department is also aware that many families are currently on the land and may not be able to receive student learning packages. On-the-land activities like hunting and fishing complement student learning, and the department encourages these activities.

Realizing Nunavut’s technology limitations, especially in some of our smaller communities, students’ continued learning will not be entirely online. This means that students’ learning packages will take many forms -- some will be paper-based, some will be activity-based, and some will be electronic. However, all of them will give students an opportunity to further their learning.

Wherever possible, teachers will be asked to check in with families weekly, to see how they are progressing and if they need any extra support or resources. The best way to communicate -- either by phone, text, GN email, or through other online portals -- will be determined with students and families.

Beyond creating student learning packages, staff also will be supporting students by assessing their work prior to the school closure to determine final grades, and preparing year-end report cards.

To Nunavut’s high school students and their families, a reminder that all departmental exams are cancelled for the school year. For those Grade 12 students on track to graduate, I want to assure you that principals and teachers will work with you to ensure you complete any necessary requirements. We are here to help you succeed and realize your goals.

Finally, school staff will also plan and prepare for the 2020-21 school year, particularly with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic in mind.

For school staff who have voluntarily returned to work and have already been preparing learning packages, many students and families recognize your hard work and expressed their appreciation. As a parent, and as Minister of Education, I want to express my sincere gratitude to you for your dedication and enthusiasm. Thank you for your efforts and commitment to Nunavut’s students.

We all want the best for our children and youth. The Department of Education appreciates the support and patience Nunavummiut and our education partners have shown during these unprecedented times. The uncertainty has not been easy, but we will make it through, together. Stay safe everyone.

Qujannamiik, quana, thank you, merci.

As part of the Government of Nunavut’s (GN) effort to protect Nunavummiut against the risk of COVID-19, GN Departments are implementing the following:

 

Department of Health Services

Isolation Sites

Those in isolation have access to cable, internet, three meals a day, fresh linens and cleaning supplies. Garbage is picked up daily. These costs are covered by the Government of Nunavut. The GN will pay for diapers, baby formula and feminine products. Guests are responsible to order these products through the provided delivery services, but they will not be charged for the items.

The information package has been updated to include information on grocery orders and take out. Both can be delivered to the hotel. These deliveries and related costs are not covered by the GN.

 

COVID Hotline

Need to talk to someone if you have COVID-19 symptoms, or have recently travelled to or from an affected area? Do you have questions about travel to Nunavut or the isolation sites? Please call 975-8601 or 1-888-975-8601 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to speak with someone. Please remember this line is for those who need it – and should not be used for general inquiries.

If you have questions or need help in an emergency, call your local health centre.

 

Volumes

Total (All Isolation Locations)

Traveler Type

Guests in Isolation as of April 17

Medical Travel

212

Public

144

Students

1

Total

357

 

 

 

Traveller repatriation summary:

April 17

Winnipeg (Scheduled flight)

Medical travellers

2

Students

0

Public

0

Total

2

 

Yellowknife (Scheduled flight)

Medical travellers

6

Students

0

Public

8

Total

14

 

April 18

Yellowknife (Scheduled flight)

Medical travellers

1

Students

0

Public

3

Total

4

 

Edmonton (Scheduled Flight)

Medical travellers

2

Students

0

Public

4

Total

6

 

Travelers requests

As of April 16, there are 595 requests, 459 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status

#

%

Approved (includes critical and non-critical)

498

83.7%

Denied

61

10.3%

Pending

36

6.0%

Total

595

100%

 

Department of Education Services

  • Students in Nunavut will not have class for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
  • School staff will continue to work to support learning at home until the end of the school year.
  • Students will be receiving learning packages from their schools to support learning at home.
  • School staff will connect with families over the coming weeks.
  • All high school diploma exams for this year are cancelled, and high school marks will be based on course work only.
  • All students will receive a year-end report card.

 

Nunavummiut’s health is our shared responsibility! Remember: wash your hands and surfaces, practice social distancing, listen to the advice of health officials, and stay home if you’re sick.