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COVID-19 GN Update - April 2, 2020

02 April 2020

Deputy premier’s update:

Good afternoon. I am filling in for Premier Savikataaq today, as he is on a weekly COVID-19 call with Canada’s Premiers.

As of today, there are still no confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

Nunavut’s Public Health Emergency has been extended until April 16, 2020. This will help our government stay on course in our efforts to stay prepared and vigilant.

There are no significant updates today, so I’ll take the opportunity to remind everyone that we are all in this together – the uncertainty, the frustrations, the boredom, the feeling of helplessness.

The only way through COVID-19 is to stay home, to plank the curve, to slow the spread and to keep one another safe and health.

It will take time. It will take distance. It will take patience. It will take our ability to see it through and be committed.

Nunavummiut - stay home. Save lives.


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

The Public Health Emergency has been extended until April 16, 2020.

Only emergency dental services will be provided in all Nunavut communities until further notice.

If you live in Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, or Cambridge Bay and are experiencing a severe dental pain or infection, you can contact the dental clinics listed below to report your problem. If your call is not answered, please follow the instructions provided in the message.

  • Iqaluit: Regional Dental Coordinator at QGH @ 867-975-8600 ext 6206
  • Rankin Inlet Dental Clinic @ 867-645-2776
  • Cambridge Bay Dental Clinic @ 867-983-4171

Please do not visit the dental clinic if you have not been given a pre-arranged appointment time. People showing up at these clinics without a pre-arranged appointment time will not be seen.

We ask that you arrive to your appointment on time, as we may be unable to accommodate late arrivals.

For those not living in Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet or Cambridge Bay who are experiencing severe dental pain or infection, please call your local health centre.

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 welcome 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.


Traveler Type

Guests In Isolation as of April 1


Public 86
Students 60
Total 345

Total number of people in isolation as of March 31: 315 – 178 are medical travellers, 78 are resident travellers and 59 are students.Volumes

As of April 2 (a.m.) there are 360 travel requests, 286 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status # %
Approved (includes critical and non-critical) 247 68.6%
Denied 34 9.4%
Pending 79 21.0%
Total 360 100%


Ongoing services:

Access to health care services will remain available in all communities seven days a week. All non-urgent requests will be triaged daily. Immediate access to urgent and emergent health care services are and will continue to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All clients are asked to call before presenting at a health facility.

  • In Iqaluit, public health, the emergency room and inpatient unit will remain open.
  • Well baby clinics, prenatal visits and immunizations are continuing across Nunavut.
  • Physicians will continue community visits. If this is not possible, the visits will be conducted by telehealth or by phone.

Adjusted services:

  • Appointments at health facilities are being triaged, this means the appointment may be over the phone or in person.
  • Medical travel services have been reduced to urgent medical travel only. Clients will be advised of these changes and involved in discussions.
  • In Iqaluit, outpatient clinics and rehab are triaging all appointments and conducting appointments. Lab and Diagnostic Imaging services at QGH are on reduced services. All upcoming appointments are being triaged.
  • Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) has moved to telephone check-in and support for some clients. Scheduled appointments for medication pick-up and administration remain the same. If you are in crisis, present to the health centre. Home visits to administer medications will be treated on a case-by-case basis.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • Speciality clinics have been cancelled. Work is underway to determine which clients can be seen by phone/virtual care.
  • All non-essential travel for mental health clients and families is cancelled. All non-essential travel for families visiting clients in care is cancelled.
  • No visitors will be allowed at long term care facilities in Nunavut – Continuing Care Centres (CCCs) and Elders’ Homes.


Department of Environment Services

New (fiscal) year contracts will be prepared to maintain our operational capacity and/or address 2020-21 Business Plan priorities.

The Environmental Protection division is working with federal, territorial and provincial counterparts to document reductions in emissions due to pandemic responses.

Department staff are working from home and program delivery is ongoing.


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.