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COVID-19 GN Update - April 20, 2021

20 April 2021

Premier’s update:

Good afternoon. Today, we are reporting five new cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut. There are now 33 active cases in the territory - 31 in Iqaluit and two in Kinngait.

To date,14,393 Nunavummiut have received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine, and 11,282 Nunavummiut are now fully vaccinated.

I know how uncertain things are right now, but I ask everyone to remain calm and stay strong.

We’ve had some requests to close airports and all air travel in and out of some communities. I need to point out that this is not a practical solution - there are always reasons why being connected is necessary. Essential goods and services, emergency safety situations, health emergencies and more.

However, non-essential travel is highly discouraged. I’m reminding you that if you don’t need to travel right now, just don’t. It’s that simple, because right now your actions could impact everybody’s health.

Again, if you were in Iqaluit and have travelled back to your community since April 7, you must isolate at home for 14 days. Don’t go out for groceries, don’t run errands, don’t take chances. This not just important, it’s absolutely necessary. Don’t put your community at risk.

Nunavummiut, now is not the time for rumours about how COVID-19 came into the territory or who might have the virus. Now is not the time to spread misinformation or scare people with opinions that are not facts. Now is not the time for negativity.

Let’s stay positive, kind and pay strict adherence to all the public health measures. And if you haven’t been vaccinated – book an appointment! There’s no use in being scared when you can be prepared instead.

Stay safe. Mask up. Wash your hands. Keep at least six feet distance from others when you’re outside. Stay home as much as possible. Get vaccinated.

 

Minister of Health Update:

Good morning. Today, I’d like to take the opportunity to recognize that this this week is Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.

On behalf of the Government of Nunavut, I want to say a huge thank you to our lab staff, who have always worked tirelessly, but have been working around the clock since the start of the pandemic over a year ago. Their work and dedication has been one of the most important steps in our COVID-19 response. Thank you!

I also want to re-iterate some of the things the Premier said. It’s critical that all of us – every single one of us – pay attention and stay strict with the public health measures. We need to do this for our communities, even though it’s hard.

If you are struggling, feeling alone, disconnected or anxious, please reach out to friends, family, the Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line at 1-800-265-3333 or Isaksimagit Inuusirmi Kataujjiqatigiit Embrace Life Council at 1-866-804-2782 or www.inuusiq.com.

 

Chief Public Health Officer Update:

Good afternoon

Yesterday we confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in Kinngait. While we knew that the two individuals left Iqaluit before the first case in Iqaluit was diagnosed, our initial contact tracing was not able to determine a direct link between these cases and confirmed cases in Iqaluit. This morning we were able to establish a direct link with the outbreak in Iqaluit, however this demonstrates that there is increased risk of introducing COVID-19 infections to other communities in the Baffin region.

As of today, in Kinngait, all non-essential services and government offices must close. Indoor gatherings are limited to a household plus five, for emergency purposes only, and outdoor gatherings are limited to five people. All indoor public gatherings are prohibited. Schools move to Stage 4, and daycares must close.

Beginning tomorrow, all travel in and out of Kinngait, including by land is restricted. Anyone wishing to travel to or from Kinngait, must have clearance from my office. Email CPHOtravelrequests@gov.nu.ca, permission to travel will be limited to essential reasons only.

In the remainder of the Baffin communities, indoor gatherings are restricted to a household plus a maximum of five, from one other household. Indoor gatherings in halls, conference spaces, government offices, Inuit organizations and hamlets are limited to 25 people or 50 per cent of the rated capacity, whichever is less. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people. Schools will move to Stage 3, and daycares may remain open.

The new cases in Kinngait cause concern that there is a greater risk of transmission in Iqaluit. I strongly urge everyone to follow the public health measures, wear a mask in public and stay home as much as possible.

We also have an additional 3 cases today in Iqaluit. All of these new cases are linked to previous cases in Iqaluit.

If you are sick or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-888-975-8601 to determine if you should be tested. Please do not call the health centres or the hospital unless directed to do so.

Currently, because of travel patterns from Iqaluit, we do not believe there is a need to alter measures in the Kivalliq or Kitikmeot regions. However, out of an abundance of caution, masks are now mandatory in Rankin Inlet.

We are monitoring the situation closely, and we will alter measures in other communities if it becomes necessary.

Thank you.

 

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

For all the latest information and resources about COVID-19 in Nunavut, go to: https://www.gov.nu.ca/health/information/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

For the latest information on current public health restrictions, go to:  https://www.gov.nu.ca/health/information/nunavuts-path

For information on upcoming vaccine clinics go to: https://gov.nu.ca/health/information/covid-19-vaccination

 

COVID-19 case status: April 20

Total Tests Total confirmed cases Total active cases Total recovered cases Deaths Total persons followed Current persons followed
10,549 428 33 391 4 7,493 254

* Confirmed cases include those meeting the national case definitions. Persons followed includes individuals with specific symptoms and exposures as well as others who are self-monitoring or self-isolated. Not all of these individuals have symptoms or require testing.

*There may be a delay reporting attribution and statistics from cases acquired in Southern Canada. 12 cases that were detected out of territory have been attributed to Nunavut. This includes 3 deaths. Not all NU residents with COVID-19 detected out of territory will be attributed to Nunavut.

COVID-19 community case statistics: April 20

Community Confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday Confirmed COVID-19 cases today Change in case count +/- from previous day Deaths Recovered Cases Total active cases
Iqaluit 28 31 3 0 0 31
Kinngait 0 2 2 0 0 2
Arviat 339 339 0 1 338 0
Whale Cove 23 23 0 0 23 0
Rankin Inlet 19 19 0 0 19 0
Sanikiluaq 2 2 0 0 2 0
TOTAL  411 416 5 1 382 33

COVID-19 vaccination status: April 20

First doses administered Second doses administered Total vaccine doses administered
14,393 11,282 25,675

*Total vaccine administered is updated as regularly as possible but might be lower than actual count.

Testing stats to date: April 20

Community Tests Positive Tests Negative
Iqaluit 31 235
Kinngait 2 N/A
Arviat 339 2,883
Whale Cove 23 352
Rankin Inlet 19 399
Sanikiluaq 2 202
TOTAL  416 4071

Isolation population: 

Traveler Type Guests in Isolation as of April 19
Medical 632
Public  220
EMTI 68
Construction 78
Total 728

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date # of Travellers from Health Isolation Sites
April 20, 2021 33
April 21, 2021 4
April 22, 2021 53
April 23, 2021 26
April 24, 2021 63
Total 179

Critical Worker Requests:

As of April 19, there were 15,139 requests, 7,510 of which were critical worker requests.

Request Status # %
Approved (includes critical and non-critical) 11,440 75.6%
Denied 306 2.0%
Pending 466 3.1%
Common Travel Area 2927 19.3%
Total 15,139 100%

 

Department of Justice Services

Ongoing services:

Labour Standards

The Labour Standards Office can be contacted by phone using the following numbers:

  • Phone:1-867-975-6322.  
  • Toll Free: 1-877-806-8402.    
  • Fax: 1-867-975-6367.

The Office is still available to answers questions Nunavummiut may have regarding the Labour Standards Act and Regulations.

Adjusted services:

Community Justice

In-person meetings for Community Justice in Iqaluit and Kinngait are restricted to emergency situations where the client has no access to a phone or safe location to contact our service providers over the phone. Individuals are asked to contact the on-call Family Abuse Intervention Act (FAIA) line if they have any questions or need support using the following number 1-844-534-1038. The call will be assessed to determine the support needed and directed to a Community Justice Specialist who can help with applications and resource referrals.

Correctional Facilities

Corrections will implement safety protocols to prevent Covid-19 from entering our facilities and mitigate the risk of spread in the event it does.  Measures in place include suspending all outside visitation and non-essential traffic. We appreciate the patience and support from inmates and their families in taking this step as we are aware this is not easy.

Given the heightened security risks associated with corrections, we can not provide specific details regarding our individual institutional plans. However, we can provide the following information regarding steps being taken:

  • All intakes will be isolated for a period of 14 days upon intake.
  • Institutions have added additional hand sanitizing stations in high traffic areas.
  • Response/containment kits have been outfitted with gloves, masks, face shields, gowns and instructions for use.
  • Nurses are diligently screening inmates upon intake for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Increased cleaning protocols to ensure communal surfaces are cleaned on an increased schedule throughout the day.

Court Services

The Court house will be closed to the public. Court registry will be available to support the public over the phone and through email. Please use the following contact information for service.

If your matter involves criminal or youth proceedings, please contact the criminal Registrar at 867-975-6101 or by email at ncj.criminal@gov.nu.ca.

If your matter involves civil, family or children law proceedings please contact the Civil Registrar at 867-975-6102 or by email at ncj.civil@gov.nu.ca.

If your matter involves civil enforcement please contact the sheriff office at 867-975-6103 or by email at ncj.sheriff@gov.nu.ca.

Legal Registries

The Legal Registries office will be closed to the public. Individuals can access all registry services by calling 867-975-6590 or by email at Corporate.Registries@gov.nu.ca.

Victims Services

The Victim Services Office is closed to the public at this time. However, Nunavummiut who need to contact the office can do so by calling Victim Services toll free at 1-866-456-5216 or by email at victimservices@gov.nu.ca. Services will be provided on a case by case basis.

Rental Office

The Rental Office will be closed to the public. To contact the office, please call 867-975-6314 or email Rentaloffice@gov.nu.ca.

Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

The Office of the Public Guardian will be closed to the public. To contact the office, please use the following contact information:

Family Support

Family Support services are ongoing. The office will be closed to the public. For information regarding your files, please call 867-975-6112, toll free at 1-800-792-4183 or email fsp@gov.nu.ca.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

Community Corrections

The Iqaluit Community Corrections office will be closed to the public until further notice. All Community Corrections clients are to report by phone using the following contact information:

For Iqaluit:

  • Mary Jackson: 867-222-1932.
  • Lori Karetak: 867-222-3541.

For Kinngait:

  • Rose Roswell: 867-222-9613.
  • Megan Sandoval: 867-222-0390.

 

 

Department of Family Services

Adjusted services:

Kinngait Child Welfare Protection

If you are concerned about the safety and wellbeing of a child and/or youth, call your local Community Social Services Office at:

  • Family Wellness (CSSW): 867-222-0795.
  • Family Wellness Supervisor: 867-222-0645.
  • Territory-wide contact: 1-844-FW-CHILD (1-844-392-4453).

If you are concerned about the services that a child or youth are receiving or have comments or compliments to share, contact 1-855-522-5201 or email PublicRelationsFS@gov.nu.ca.

To reach the RCMP, please call 867-897-1111.

Social services and local RCMP contact information for each community can be found on the Family Wellness section of our website at https://www.gov.nu.ca/family-services/information/child-protection.

Kinngait Income Assistance & Regional Contact Information

Kinngait Income Assistance: 867-897-3662.

Qikiqtaaluk Regional Office: Toll free at 1-855-975-6580.

Kinngait Career Development Information

Qikiqtaaluk – 1-855-975-6580.

Adult Learning Training Support (ALTS) students currently enrolled in programs in will continue to receive their training allowances to the end of the fiscal year.

 

 

Department of Education Services

New developments in programs/ services:

K-12 Schools

As of Tuesday, April 20, 2021, the following stage changes will apply:

  • Schools in Kinngait will move to Stage 4. 
  • All other schools in the Qikiqtani region will move to Stage 3, with the exception of Sanikiluaq and Iqaluit.

Schools in the communities or regions listed above will implement the appropriate action plan for their stage.

In light of this sudden announcement, schools moving stages will be given the flexibility needed to organize this transition with the exception of Kinngait, which will be closed effective immediately.

Early Learning and Child Care

As of Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Kinngait child care facilities will remain closed until further notice.

Ongoing services:

K-12 Schools

As of Tuesday, April 20, 2021, the following stages continue to be in effect:

  • Schools in Iqaluit remain in Stage 4 until further notice.
  • Schools in Sanikiluaq remain in Stage 1.
  • Schools in Rankin Inlet and Arviat remain in Stage 2 until further notice.
  • Schools in the rest of the Kivalliq region remain in Stage 1.
  • Schools in the Kitikmeot region remain in Stage 1.

Where applicable, schools will implement the appropriate action plan for their stage.

Early Learning and Child Care

As of Tuesday, April 20, 2021, all child care facilities can remain open, with the exception of Kinngait and Iqaluit.

Financial Assistance for Nunavut Students (FANS)

Students booking their FANS-eligible travel must follow the public health measures and recommendations of the CPHO.

If students have questions about their travel, they can contact the FANS office for information at fanstravel@gov.nu.ca.

Adjusted services:

As of Tuesday, April 20, 2021, schools in the Qikiqtani region will move to
Stage 3, with the exception of Sanikiluaq, Kinngait, and Iqaluit.

In Stage 3, instruction for all grade levels will be a blend of in-school and remote learning. Elementary school students will attend school three days per week. Middle and high school students will attend school two days per week with staggered schedules to reduce physical interaction. All school staff will report to school, and will adhere to strict physical distancing and other health and safety measures. School staff will regularly communicate with all students.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

K-12 Schools

As of Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Kinngait and Iqaluit schools will remain closed for in-school instruction until further notice.

In Stage 4, all instruction will be conducted remotely. All schools are closed to students, staff, and the public. School staff will regularly communicate with all students.

Early Learning and Child Care

As of Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Kinngait and Iqaluit child care facilities will be closed until further notice.

 

 

Department of Economic Development and Transportation Services

Ongoing services:

Airport Operations & Maintenance

Kinngait Airport:

  • Essential airport operations will continue to facilitate cargo and emergency flights.
  • Access to the airport is restricted to essential staff, passengers, and people providing necessary assistance to passengers.
  • Masks must be worn at all times inside the airport.
  • All staff and passengers must follow public health guidelines.

Iqaluit Airport:

  • Iqaluit Airport operations including flights and maintenance will continue.
  • Passengers who depart Iqaluit at this time are required to isolate for 14 days upon arrival at their destination.
  • Access to the airport is restricted to staff, passengers, and people providing necessary assistance to passengers.
  • Passengers travelling through Iqaluit are strongly discouraged from leaving the airport.
  • Masks must be worn at all times inside airport.  
  • All staff and passengers must follow public health guidelines.

Economic Development Programs

The Community Economic Development Office in Pangnirtung will continue to provide support and services to Iqaluit and Kinngait businesses and residents. You can reach them at:

P.O. Box 612, Pangnirtung, NU X0A 0R0
Toll-free phone: 1-844-737-8628
Phone: (867) 473-2661
Fax: (867) 473-2663
Email: edt@gov.nu.ca

Adjusted services:

Motor Vehicles

Motor Vehicles services in Iqaluit and Kinngait are closed.

Remote assistance is available by emailing MotorVehicles@gov.nu.ca or calling 1-888-975-5999.

Nunavummiut can also visit gov.nu.ca/motorvehicles to access:

  • Driver’s Licence Renewals
  • General Identification Card Renewals
  • Vehicle Registration Renewals
  • Requests for Driver’s Abstracts, Vehicle Searches, and Accident Reports

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • The Iqaluit Visitors Center is closed.
  • The Fisheries and Sealing offices cannot offer sealskin sales at this time. 
  • All non-urgent Motor Vehicles services including driver’s exams are suspended.
  • Meetings or in-person training sessions hosted by the department are cancelled.

 

 

Department of Environment Services

Ongoing services:

The Department of Environment continues to provide services Nunavut-wide as usual, following recommended public health measures.

The department will continue to respond to problem wildlife and spills:

  • For wildlife response in Kinngait, call 867-897-0123 (RCMP), 24 hours a day.
  • For wildlife response in Iqaluit, call 867-222-0167, 24 hours a day.
  • All spills are to be reported to the Nunavut Spill Line at 867-920-8130, 24 hours a day: https://www.gov.nu.ca/environment/documents/spill-response.

Closed/Cancelled/Suspended Services:

The wildlife office and park visitor centre in Kinngait, and the wildlife office and parks office in Iqaluit are closed to the public until further notice.

 

 

Department of Human Resources Services

Ongoing services:

At this time, GN employees in all communities other than in Iqaluit and Kinngait are to report to work as normal.

Adjusted services:

All non-essential GN employees in Iqaluit and Kinngait are to work from home. Your supervisor will work with you to provide any needed equipment or resources to work from home. Suggestions and tips for working from home can be found on the GN Intranet site: http://intranet/covid19/ and will be sent via email.

You can access your work emails by logging into Microsoft Office 365 on your computer at https://www.office.com/ or downloading the Microsoft Outlook app on your smart phone.               

All essential GN employees in Iqaluit and Kinngait who can work from home should discuss options with their supervisor.  Otherwise, they will continue to work at their workplaces and follow the Health, Safety and Wellness Checklists for GN Workplaces and the Return to the Workplace Checklist for GN Employees, read the COVID-19 Questions and Answers and follow posted health and safety signage to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You can find the checklists, questions and answers and posters on the GN Intranet site: http://intranet/covid19/.

Contact HRcommunications@gov.nu.ca if you do not have access to the GN Intranet site and require copies of any of the resources posted there.

If you are unsure whether you’re an essential or non-essential employee, please contact your supervisor or human resources coordinator. This work plan may change. Stay in touch with your supervisor or human resources coordinator about any changes.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

All non-essential GN offices in Iqaluit and Kinngait are closed to the public until further notice.

 

 

Department of Community and Government services

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

Effective today, all GN office buildings in Kinngait will be locked at all times.  Any members of the public who require to meet in person with any GN essential services staff who are present in a GN office building will need to contact that individual directly and make suitable arrangements. 

 

 

Nunavut Arctic College

Adjusted services:

As of April 20, 2021, NAC facilities in Kinngait move to Stage 4/Code Red, and NAC facilities in Iqaluit remain in Stage 4/Code Red:

  • Access to NAC facilities in Kinngait and Iqaluit is restricted to essential staff only and use of face masks is mandatory while in the facilities.
  • Programs are delivered via remote learning, where applicable. Students are encouraged to stay in touch with their instructors for further updates.
  • The residence building in Iqaluit remains open to students who reside in the accommodations and essential staff only. Visitors are not allowed at this time.
  • The cafeteria inside the residence building will remain open for students only.
  • Students in NAC accommodations are recommended to stay in their residences versus travelling home at this time.

NAC facilities in the Qikiqtaaluk (outside Iqaluit and Kinngait) move to Stage 3/Code Orange:

  • In-person classes in controlled cohorts, respecting physical distance, and use of facemasks is mandatory.
  • Community Learning Centres are restricted to NAC Staff/Faculty and Students.
  • Attendance flexible depending on mandatory self-isolation.

NAC facilities in Rankin Inlet remain at Stage 2/Code Yellow with mandatory use of face masks:

  • In-person classes in controlled cohorts, respecting physical distance, and use of facemasks is mandatory.
  • Attendance flexible depending on mandatory self-isolation.
  • Access to NAC Facilities in Rankin Inlet is restricted to NAC Staff, Faculty, and Students. Visitors must have an appointment in order to visit NAC facilities. 

 

 

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.