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COVID-19 GN Update - June 8, 2020

08 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.

Today, the total number of people under investigation to date is 1,166. 119 people are currently under investigation.

I’m pleased to provide an update on the support package for our airlines. As we previously announced, we entered into agreements with Calm Air and Canadian North to provide financial assistance in April, May and June to maintain adequate airline service for medical travel services and critical workers into Nunavut.

The Government of Nunavut (GN) will provide $9,810,000 in additional assistance to Canadian North, for a total of $15,650,000 over the three-month period. We will provide Calm Air an additional $6,387,000 in additional assistance, totalling $8,987,000.

GN employees who are able, are returning to work today and we welcome them back. Measures are in place for safe return to work, and the health and well-being of our employees is our priority.

 

Minister of Health update

As Dr Patterson has already indicated, Nunavut’s strict border measures are likely among the last of the public health measures that will be lifted or altered. Right now, travel into Nunavut represents the single biggest risk for introducing COVID-19. The travel ban, and the 14-day isolation requirements for returning Nunavummiut, are meant to mitigate this risk and keep our territory safe.

Knowing that, I’d like to take this opportunity to share information on the new process being implemented for reserving stays in GN southern isolation facilities. Moving forward, all Nunavummiut who must travel outside of the territory should contact the email address NUisolationreservations@nunavutcare.ca and submit an Isolation Reservation Request Form as soon as they know their plans for travel. From there, the travel team will work to identify room availability and reserve your stay in one of the designated isolation facilities.

This new streamlined process is meant to help Nunavummiut plan for their 14-day quarantine period farther in advance and ensures that our travel team can anticipate and accommodate travellers in the coming months. More information, including intake days requirements, can also be found on the Department of Health’s website.

Remember, non-essential travel outside of the territory is still not recommended.

All individuals who are applying for critical worker exemption will continue to use the email address CPHOTravelRequests@gov.nu.ca.

Finally, the Department of Health has made temporary amendments to the Medical Travel Policy to help keep our medical travellers and escorts safe from COVID-19. Specific provisions have been added to ensure that medical travellers and escorts abide by rules of social distancing, hand-washing hygiene, and other behaviours that help to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The amendments also more clearly outline the requirements for both medical travellers and escorts to complete 14 days of self-isolation at a designated isolation facility prior to returning to Nunavut.

As we continue to look at ways of easing public health measures and returning the activities we enjoy, we must remain diligent and aware that the threat of COVID-19 has not yet passed.

Please continue to maintain physical distancing and handwashing practices, and limit any non-essential travel out of the territory. 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

 

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 facilities. More information can be found on the Department of Health website.

Individuals applying for critical worker exemption will continue to contact the email CPHOtravelrequests@gov.nu.ca.

 

Volumes

Total (All Isolation Locations)

Traveler Type

Guests in Isolation as of June 7

Medical Travel

168

Public

189

Students

0

Total

357

 

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date

# of Travellers from Isolation Sites

June 6

7

June 7

8

June 8

28

June 9

24

June 10

18


Critical Worker Requests

As of June 7, there are 1,433 requests, 1,085 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status

#

%

Approved (includes critical and non-critical)

1223

85.3%

Denied

157

11.0%

Pending

53

3.7%

Total

1433

100%

 

Department of Human Resources Services

Duty Travel during COVID-19

As of June 1, the Chief Public Health Officer has lifted in-territory travel advisories. Travel outside of Nunavut is still not recommended.

As of June 8, the Government of Nunavut will resume in-territory duty travel for employees, according to regular practices. Both essential and non-essential duty travel may be approved within the territory.

Duty travel to and from the Kitikmeot region may be approved as long as the flight paths do not require that travellers’ stopover and go through the isolation hub in Yellowknife. Departments may also consider booking a charter to or from the Kitikmeot region.

Duty travel to and from Sanikiluaq may be approved on charter flights only, as long as the flight paths do not require that travellers’ stopover outside the territory and stay in isolation hubs.

Non-essential duty travel outside of Nunavut remains suspended.

 

Online courses for GN employees

The Government of Nunavut and its partner Homewood Health have online courses to help GN employees and their families adjust and maintain positive mental health.

All content is based on current, best practice research and includes printable information, quizzes, and practical exercises. You can access courses from anywhere at any time.

The courses are currently available in English and French.

To access them visit the Homewood Health website www.homeweb.ca and follow the links to the member services area.

Employees and their families can also call the toll-free number 1-800-663-1142 for personal counselling.

 

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.