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COVID-19 GN Update - July 13, 2020

13 July 2020

Minister of Health, on behalf of the Premier, update:

Good morning. There are once again no confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

The total number of persons followed to date is 1,553. There are 163 persons current being followed.

I’m pleased to announce that we are now offering country food in our isolation hubs. This program is in its initial stages, and we are just finalizing shipping and delivery to Ottawa, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

We are very happy to be able to provide a bit of home to those isolating before they return to Nunavut, and hope this will make their stay a bit easier. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to staff across the Government of Nunavut and our partners at NTI for making this a reality.

As always, we appreciate that the 14-day isolation is not easy, and thank everyone who is doing their part to keep our communities safe.

I’ll now pass it over to Dr. Patterson, who will give us the next steps and announcements on re-opening under Nunavut’s Path.

 

Chief Public Health Officer Update

As Nunavut continues its path forward, I am pleased to announce the further easing of restrictions in the territory.

On July 20, all licensed establishments in the territory will be allowed to open with regular hours.

Nunavut will also be extending its common travel area to include Churchill, Manitoba. This bubble is exclusive to the community of Churchill and does not extend to other regions of Manitoba.

The common travel area applies to air, land and water travel and exempts travellers from isolation requirements in either Nunavut or Churchill under certain conditions:

  • Travel must originate from Nunavut to Churchill or from Churchill to Nunavut.
  • Travellers must have not been outside either Churchill or Nunavut for 2 weeks prior to travelling.
  • Travellers must remain in either Nunavut or Churchill for the duration of their stay.

Prior to travelling outside of Nunavut, travellers must contact the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer for Nunavut and provide:

  • Contact information, such as an address and phone number, at the person’s regular place of residence; and
  • A written declaration that can be obtained by emailing CPHOtravelrequests@gov.nu.ca or by going to the Department of Health’s website.

When travelling by air, travellers are required to obtain a letter from the CPHO authorizing travel or they will not be permitted to board their flight. Those who leave the common travel area outside of Churchill will need to isolate for 14 days at a government isolation facility, prior to returning to Nunavut.

I would like to also take this opportunity to thank all Nunavummiut for their patience as we work together to protect our territory and families from COVID-19.

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

COVID Hotline and Self-Assessment Tool

Anyone who has reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 is advised to call the COVID-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., or notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days.

Anyone with access to internet can also take the online self-assessment tool nu.thrive.health

Isolation sites concern inbox

A new email address has been established to better address concerns and comments from clients completing 14-day isolation in the Isolation Sites in Southern Canada. The new email will take pressure off the COVID toll free line, patient relations and the CPHOtravel requests inbox. The new email address is isolationrelations@gov.nu.ca.

Volumes

Total (All Isolation Locations)

Traveler Type

Guests in Isolation as of July 12

Medical Travel

254

Public

245

Students

0

Total

499


Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date

# of Travellers from Isolation Sites

July 11

5

July 12

7

July 13

53

July 14

18

July 15

88


Critical Worker Requests

As of July 11, there are 2,467 requests, 1,622 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status

#

%

Approved (includes critical and non-critical)

2086

84.6%

Denied

198

8.0%

Pending

26

1.1%

Bubble Approved

157

6.4%

Total

2467

100%


Ongoing services:

  • Access to health care services will remain available in all communities 7 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.
  • Beginning June 8, there will be an increased availability of in-person health assessments at health centres across the territory.
  • 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.
  • Lab and Diagnostic Imaging services at QGH have resumed regular services.

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. All upcoming appointments are being triaged.
  • The inpatient ward at QGH is allowing limited visitors to the inpatient ward following a questionnaire.
  • 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.
  • Beginning June 15, normal dental services are permitted to resume, though this service may not be available in all communities immediately. For communities where normal service resumption is delayed, emergency services are still available.
  • Beginning June 29, Nunavut – Continuing Care Centres (CCCs) and Elders’ Homes will accept visitors on a limited basis. Each resident or inpatient may have no more than two visitors at once, and visitors shall be restricted to immediate family members only (which includes grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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 are cancelled. All non-essential travel for families visiting clients in care is cancelled.

Department of Community and Government Services

Requests to enter the territory for construction related projects or to travel within the territory for construction related projects can be emailed to CPHOconstructionrequests@gov.nu.ca

Construction workers who completed isolation to date: 495

Construction workers who completed isolation July 6 - July 10, 2020

Departure Date

Number

Destination

6/Jul/20

4

Gjoa Haven

6/Jul/20

8

Kugluktuk

6/Jul/20

2

Iqaluit

6/Jul/20

2

Cape Dorset

6/Jul/20

1

Arctic Bay

6/Jul/20

4

Sanikiluaq

6/Jul/20

2

Kimmiruit

6/Jul/20

1

Baker lake

6/Jul/20

3

Rankin Inlet

7/Jul/20

5

Cambridge Bay

7/Jul/20

2

Gjoa Haven

7/Jul/20

2

Kugluktuk

7/Jul/20

3

Sanikiluaq

8/Jul/20

3

Iqaluit

8/Jul/20

1

Hall Beach

8/Jul/20

1

Grise Fiord

8/Jul/20

2

Iqaluit

9/Jul/20

1

Taloyoak

9/Jul/20

1

Rankin Inlet

9/Jul/20

1

Pond Inlet

9/Jul/20

2

Iqaluit

10-Jul-20

3

Iqaluit

GN office buildings in all communities remain closed to the public at this time. If a member of the public needs to meet with GN staff, alternate arrangements need to be made. Please call ahead of time and make an appointment.

Department of Education Services

Since March 17, when schools were closed to students, the Department of Education has been working diligently in preparation for the upcoming 2020-21 school year, specifically addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information on plans and guidelines for opening schools will be made available to the public as they are finalized. These will include detailed guidelines on health and safety, as well as recovery learning and assessment, and student and staff wellbeing.

The Department of Education will be releasing the first document of its school opening plan later this month, after it has been reviewed by the Chief Public Health Officer and the department has heard from education stakeholders.

Keeping our staff and students safe is the Department of Education’s highest priority. By working closely with the Chief Public Health Officer, and providing clear guidelines around health and safety, the Department of Education can ensure that our students are learning in a safe, supportive environment.

On Wednesday, July 15, David Joanasie, Minister of Education, and Dr. Michael Patterson, Chief Public Health Officer, will be teleconferencing with District Education Authorities, the Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut, and the Coalition of Nunavut District Education Authorities to discuss health and safety considerations related to the Department of Education’s school opening plan.

 

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.