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COVID-19 GN Update - June 15, 2020

15 June 2020

Premier’s Update:

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

The total number of people under investigation to date is 1,239. 152 people are currently under investigation.

Starting today, gyms can be open for solo workouts and pools can be open for lap swims. Dental clinics, physiotherapy clinics, message therapy and chiropractic treatments can resume, as long as proper PPE is used.

Dr. Patterson will speak shortly about the next phase of eased restrictions, and I want to remind everyone that we can only keep opening up as long as we all commit to staying safe and exercising strong social distancing, hygiene and common sense. Please look out for one another and let’s all stay healthy and safe.

Finally, today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. We know COVID-19 affects seniors more than anyone else, I think it’s important that we remember how much we need to protect our Elders here in Nunavut. Our Elders are our link to the past, an invaluable tie to our language and culture, and our strongest examples of resiliency and adaptability.

Let’s work together and do everything we can to care for, and keep our precious Elders safe and free from harm, especially in this new time of COVID-19.

 

Chief Public Health Officer update

Good morning,

Last Friday, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) announced that it will allow Nunavummiut to enter the Northwest Territories (NWT) without undergoing a 14-day isolation period. I am pleased to say that after consultation with my counterpart in the GNWT, as of today, residents of the NWT can travel to Nunavut without isolating prior to arrival.

The establishment of the common travel area by air or by land between the two territories does however come with strict conditions and expectations:

  • Travel must originate from Nunavut to the NWT or from the NWT to Nunavut.
  • Travellers have not been outside their respective territory for two weeks prior to their travel to the NWT or Nunavut.
  • Travellers remain in either territory for the duration of their stay.

Travellers from the NWT who wish to enter Nunavut, must write to: cphotravelrequests@gov.nu.ca and complete and sign the Nunavut and NWT Traveller’s Declaration form. Failure to do so will affect entry in Nunavut. Failure to answer truthfully will be subject to fines. This also applies for Nunavummiut who wish to return home after their stay in the NWT.

My office will issue a letter of approval. Travellers will be required to present the approval letter prior to boarding any airplane entering Nunavut.

Isolation before entering Nunavut is still required if

  • You are a Nunavut resident who is returning home from travel in southern Canada via Yellowknife. In this case, you will need to complete a 14-day isolation period in the GN isolation hub in Yellowknife.
  • You are an NWT resident who has travelled outside your territory less than two weeks before your scheduled arrival in Nunavut. In this case, you will need to complete the NWT isolation requirements before applying for travel to Nunavut.

I want to re-assure Nunavummiut that should the current situation change in either territory, we will re-assess the common travel area and take all necessary measures to protect the health and safety of Nunavummiut.

Further Information can be found in Travel and Isolation section of the Department of Health website at https://gov.nu.ca/health/information/travel-and-isolation.

Today also marks the second of our bi-weekly announcements regarding the status of current health measures.

Beginning June 22:

  • Personal service providers will also be permitted to open for one-on-one sessions. This includes hairdressers and nail salons. Again, these facilities will be responsible for ensuring that PPE is available for both clients and service providers when requested.
  • Bars and restaurants will be allowed to re-open and operate at half capacity. Last call for alcohol service will be at 9 p.m.. Facility operators need to ensure that patrons are respecting social distancing. Liquor Inspectors have the authority to enforce orders regarding social distancing, and they will be monitoring to ensure adherence to these conditions.
  • Theatres and churches are also permitted to re-open on June 22.

On June 29:

  • Youth centres and day camps will be able to resume operations.
  • Long-term care facilities will begin accepting visitors in a limited capacity; they can only allow one to two visitors per resident at a time, and these visitors can only be immediate family.

Guidelines for re-opening will be available on the health website in the coming days.

Though we can reasonably forecast what the next two weeks may bring, we must remain aware of the possible need to change or re-introduce public health measures. While we are in a position to ease restrictions, we remain vulnerable to the impacts of this global pandemic.

Every week, new information becomes available. Every week, the situation can change. What doesn’t change is that social distancing, washing your hands and staying home when you are sick are the three main actions each and everyone of us can take to keep our families and our communities safe.

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

Calling Ahead at Health Centres

Unless you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call your health centre first before going in. Describe your symptoms, and health care providers can conduct a telephone assessment and may schedule in-person appointments for appropriate care.

Wearing Masks at Health Centres

If you are presenting at a health centre with respiratory symptoms like coughing, sneezing, or a runny nose, please wear a mask. If you do not have a mask, please tell whoever receives you at the health centre of your symptoms, and they can provide you with one.

New Email for Travellers

A new email address has been established for Nunavummiut planning travel outside of the territory. All travellers must submit an Isolation Reservation Request Form to NUisolationreservations@nunavutcare.ca as soon as travel plans are known to ensure that the travel team can identify room availability and reserve stays in a designated isolation facility. More information can be found on the Department of Health website.

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 CPHOTravelRequests inbox. The new email address is isolationrelations@gov.nu.ca.

Volumes

Total (All Isolation Locations)

Traveler Type

Guests in Isolation as of June 14

Medical Travel

201

Public

206

Students

0

Total

407


 

 

 

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date

# of Travellers from Isolation Sites

June 13

7

June 14

6

June 15

46

June 16

49

June 17

35


Critical Worker Requests

As of June 13, there are 1,574 requests, 1,181 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status

#

%

Approved (includes critical and non-critical)

1379

87.6%

Denied

186

11.8%

Pending

9

0.6%

Total

1574

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

No visitors will be allowed at long term care facilities in Nunavut – Continuing Care Centres (CCCs) and Elders’ Homes.

 

Department of Justice Services

Family members can resume visiting in our correctional facilities through the normal appointment process.

There will be some restrictions in place to ensure continued safety of our inmates and staff. Due to the ongoing public health emergency this is subject to change without notice.

 

Department of Community and Government Services

Requests to enter Nunavut for construction-related projects

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

Total to Date: 120

Departure Date

Number

Destination

8/Jun/20

8

Pond Inlet

 

29

Iqaluit

 

6

Kugaaruk

9/Jun/20

5

Arctic Bay

 

17

Iqaluit

 

4

Chesterfield Inlet

 

4

Gjoa Haven

10/Jun/20

1

Kugaaruk

 

2

Iqaluit

 

6

Arctic Bay

 

29

Iqaluit

 

4

Resolute Bay

 

5

Rankin Inlet

11/Jun/20

3

Hall Beach

 

2

Pangnirtung

 

6

Cambridge Bay

12/Jun/20

1

Rankin Inlet

 

26

Iqaluit

 

9

Chesterfield Inlet

13/Jun/20

6

Gjoa Haven

14/Jun/20

4

Iqaluit

 

4

Clyde River


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.

 

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.