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COVID-19 GN Update - June 29, 2020

29 June 2020

Minister of Health on behalf of the Premier, 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 1418. 140 people are currently under investigation.

Starting today, day camps and youth centres are able to resume operations, and long-term care facilities will allow one to two immediate family members to visit Elders at a time.

Things are slowly resuming, and I know Dr. Patterson is unveiling some more measures in just a few minutes.

We continue to move forward because we are taking a cautious approach. I know we are all very grateful to be able to resume some of our favourite activities. Let’s keep up the good work and the diligence, and make sure we can enjoy the summer here in Nunavut safely.

Happy early Canada Day, everyone. Be careful as you celebrate and stay well.

 

Minister of Finance update:

Good morning. I am pleased to announce the Government of Nunavut is expanding our Nunavut Essential Workers Wage Premium.

Through this program the GN funds employers in eligible sectors so they can pay their employees more for the work they do. Employees who earn less than $25 per hour may be eligible to receive an extra top-up of up to $5 per hour.

When we launched on June 1, we targeted essential workers in health and social services, as well as licensed day cares.

As of today, we are expanding the program to include more sectors, including essential infrastructure, transportation, food, accommodation, retail and professional services.

The full list of eligible sectors, along with the application forms and other details, will be available on the Department of Finance’s website.

I strongly encourage employers to apply for the Nunavut Essential Workers Wage Premium.

Thank you.

 

Chief Public Health Officer Update

Good morning. Today marks the third bi-weekly announcement for Nunavut’s Path for moving forward during COVID-19. There are still no cases of COVID-19 detected in the territory, so once again we are in a position to alter public health measures.

I’m pleased to announce the following changes under the new Order Respecting Social Distancing and Gatherings, which goes into effect today:

  • The limit for outdoor gatherings has now been increased to 50 people.
  • The limit for indoor gatherings has been increased to 10 people. In private dwellings, this means 10 people in addition to those who reside there.
  • The limit for gatherings at places of worship, conference facilities, community halls, rental meeting spaces, and gatherings organized by the Government of Canada, Government of Nunavut, municipal corporation, or Regional Inuit Organizations has been set at 50 people or 50% of capacity for the facility, whichever is less.
  • In all facilities and gatherings, it is still expected that social distancing is maintained.

As we take another step forward on Nunavut’s Path, and we return to some of the activities, programs, or venues that we’ve missed, we need to remain diligent in our collective commitment to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene.

If you make the choice to participate in a large gathering, or attend an indoor event, or even meet up with friends for dinner, please also choose to be responsible, and choose to take actions that will keep yourself, your community, and your territory, safe. Wash your hands. Keep six feet away from others. Avoid touching your face. Sanitize high-touch areas often. Consider wearing a mask when social distancing is difficult. If you don’t feel well, stay home.

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 28

Medical Travel

257

Public

183

Students

0

Total

440

 

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date

# of Travellers from Isolation Sites

June 27

7

June 28

16

June 29

63

June 30

28

July 1

47


Critical Worker Requests

As of June 26, there are 1919 requests, 1373 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status

#

%

Approved (includes critical and non-critical)

1666

86.8%

Denied

195

10.2%

Pending

3

0.2%

Common Travel Area Approved

55

2.9%

Total

1919

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 Finance Services

The Nunavut Essential Workers Wage Premium (NEWWP) was initially limited to employers that provide services of a health or social nature to vulnerable Nunavummiut, such as food banks, shelters, group homes, care facilities, and licensed daycares. The program is now expanded to include the essential infrastructure, transportation, food, accommodation, retail, and professional services sectors.

The Nunavut Essential Workers Wage Premium (NEWWP) applies to full-time, part-time, and casual Nunavut workers earning less than $25 per hour and working in eligible sectors.

Workers earning less than or equal to $20 per hour will be eligible for the full $5 wage premium. Workers earning between $20 and $25 per hour will receive a lower premium that will bring wages up to $25 per hour. Workers earning more than $25 per hour are not eligible to receive a premium.

Employers (not individuals) must apply to the program and will need to provide basic information about their workforce.

The GN’s Department of Finance is administering the Nunavut Essential Workers Wage Premium as a contribution. The contribution policy supporting the program is available on the department’s website: https://gov.nu.ca/finance/information/newwp.

Employees of the federal and territorial governments, as well as their associated agencies, are not eligible for the premium.

The Government of Canada is fully funding the program.

 

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: 409

Construction workers who completed isolation June 25- 28, 2020

Departure Date

Number

Destination

25/Jun/20

1

Resolute Bay

25/Jun/20

12

Pond Inlet

25/Jun/20

1

Pangnirtung

25/Jun/20

2

Iqaluit

25/Jun/20

6

Cambridge Bay

26/Jun/20

5

Kugaaruk

26/Jun/20

5

Cape Dorset

26/Jun/20

26

Iqaluit

26/Jun/20

1

Cambridge Bay

28/Jun/20

2

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.

 

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.