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COVID-19 GN Update - May 4, 2021

04 May 2021

Premier’s update:

Today we are reporting seven new cases and seven recoveries of COVID-19. There are 85 active cases in the territory - 83 in Iqaluit and two in Kinngait. The two cases in Rankin Inlet are now resolved. There have been 50 recoveries to date in this outbreak.

To date, 16,144 Nunavummiut have received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine, and 12,568 Nunavummiut are now fully vaccinated.

Effective today in Iqaluit, the Arctic Survival store and snowmobile repair shops are considered essential businesses and can remain open under the Nunavut’s public health orders. The closure of these businesses was an oversight, and as soon as we realized they were not exempt, we took steps to fix this. Our apologies to everyone on this mix-up. Supporting our hunters and sustainable food security and time on the land is always one of our governments’ priorities.

With regards to the temporary closure of Iqaluit’s low barrier shelter, the Government of Nunavut is actively working to help the Uquutaq Society find solutions to be able to help vulnerable Iqalummiut. These discussions are on-going, and we are doing what we can to provide logistical and administrative support. I hope to be able to give a more comprehensive update on Thursday. 

Finally, the weather has been beautiful, and spring is now fully here. As many of our communities hold events and celebrate, it’s critical that everyone keep following the necessary measures.

Please ensure you keep strong social distancing, follow gathering limits strictly, and don’t share food, drinks or utensils.

Nunavummiut, please continue to follow all the public health measures. Mask up anytime you’re outside your household. Wash your hands often. Stay home. Get vaccinated.

 

Chief Public Health Officer Update:

Good morning.

As announced yesterday there have been cases of COVID-19 infection in the Northwest Territories announced over the last 4 days, and the NWT government has produced a list of events and locations where individuals may have been exposed to COVID-19. To minimize the risk of introducing COVID-19 to more communities in Nunavut we have done the following:

  • Anyone who travelled from the NWT to Nunavut on or after April 28 must isolate for 14 days after they left.
  • Anyone currently in NWT will need to isolate for 14 days prior to travelling, unless they qualify for an exemption to out of territory isolation.
  • Please remember that with the changes in the rules on exemptions and in territory isolation, it is mandatory for the entire household to isolate.

In Iqaluit we continue to track an outbreak of the B.1.1.7 variant. This infection has been spreading through a variety of ways, but with simple basic measures it can be controlled:

  • Unless it is part of essential work, do not have visitors into your home, or visit other homes.
  • Wear a mask when you are around others who are not part of your household.
  • Avoid gatherings.
  • As much as possible, maintain distancing of 6 feet.
  • Get vaccinated.

I would also like to clarify a comment I made on how far behind the virus we were. These comments were interpreted as meaning that there is a 4 day back log in contact tracing or testing, and neither of these are true. Swabs are analysed either the day they are collected or the next day, with notification of positive results and contact tracing happening within 12 hours. Contact tracing works, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public health staff who are doing this work, and the individuals who have co-operated with them. Working in partnership we can and will get this under control.

As of Monday, there were a total of eight cases of COVID-19 at the Baffin Correctional Centre. The boarding home cases are confined to staff members. Following the testing of staff and clients, medical travellers were cleared to travel home. As per the current orders, they and their households must isolate for 14 days from the day they returned home.

Further, I want to clarify the new isolation requirements. They apply to households with anyone who has travelled from the south on an exemption, has left Iqaluit since April 7 or who left Yellowknife after April 28 without isolating at the GN isolation hub. The isolation period is 14 days from the day the traveller arrived home. Isolation periods can be extended if there is exposure to COVID-19 during the isolation period and or a positive COVID test.

Over the weekend, we also confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 at Mary River Mine. The mine has 12 active cases on-site at the moment. All individuals and high-risk contacts are isolating and doing well. All travel to and from the mine has been suspended this week to assess the risk. We are monitoring the situation and if the need arises, are prepared to send support resources. Currently, we are supporting the mine’s outbreak response virtually. There is little risk to Nunavummiut from this outbreak, as there are no Nunavut employees on site and Baffinland’s COVID-19 protocols ensure operations restrict contact with Nunavut communities.

 

 

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: May 4

Total Tests Total confirmed cases Total active cases Total recovered cases Deaths Total persons followed Current persons followed
12,667 535 85 443 4 8656 437

*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: May 4

Community

Active COVID-19 transmission

Time period Confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday Confirmed COVID-19 cases today Change in case count +/- from previous day Deaths Recovered Cases Total active cases
Iqaluit Ongoing Since 14/04/2021 125 132 7 0 49 83
Kinngait Ongoing Since 19/04/2021 6 6 0 0 4 2
Rankin Inlet Ongoing Since 24/04/2021 2 2 0 0 2 0
Arviat over

11/2020 – 04/2021

339 339 0 1 338 0
Whale Cove over

11/2020 – 02/2021

23 23 0 0 23 0
Rankin Inlet over

11/2020 – 12/2020

19 19 0 0 19 0
Sanikiluaq over

11/2020 – 12/2020

2 2 0 0 2 0
TOTAL      516 523 7 1 437 85

COVID-19 vaccination status: May 4

First doses administered Second doses administered Total vaccine doses administered
16,144 12,568 28,712

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

Testing stats to date: May 4

Community Tests Positive Tests Negative
Iqaluit 125 1408
Kinngait 6 131
Rankin Inlet 2 42
Arviat 339 2,883
Whale Cove 23 352
Rankin Inlet 19 339
Sanikiluaq 2 202
TOTAL  516 5,375

Isolation population: 

Traveler Type Guests in Isolation as of May 3
Medical 320
Public  240
EMTI 62
Construction 32
Total 654

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date # of Travellers from Health Isolation Sites
May 4, 2021 85
May 5, 2021 62
May 6, 2021 68
May 7, 2021 56
May 8, 2021 7
Total 278

Critical Worker Requests:

As of May 3, there were 15,840 requests, 7,879 of which were critical worker requests.

Request Status # %
Approved (includes critical and non-critical) 12,110 76.5%
Denied 308 1.9%
Pending 495 3.1%
Common Travel Area 2927 18.5%
Total 15,840 100%

 

 

Department of Education Services

Ongoing services:

K-12 Schools

The following stages continue to be in effect:

  • Stage 4 – Schools in Kinngait and Iqaluit.
  • Stage 3 – Schools in the Qikiqtani region, except Sanikiluaq, Kinngait, and Iqaluit.
  • Stage 2 – Schools in Rankin Inlet.
  • Stage 1 – Schools in Sanikiluaq, the Kitikmeot region, and Kivalliq region, except for Rankin Inlet.

Schools will implement the appropriate action plan for their current stage.

Early Learning and Child Care

All Nunavut 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.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

K-12 Schools

Kinngait and Iqaluit schools are 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

Kinngait and Iqaluit childcare facilities are closed until further notice.

 

 

Department of Community and Government services

All isolation requests for construction worker are to be booked through CPHOConstructionRequests@gov.nu.ca. Isolations occur in Ottawa and Quebec City construction hubs, as well as in Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Construction Workers Completed Isolation and Travelled to Nunavut  
2021 Total to Date 857
January 164
February 220
March 204
April 269
May – Dec 2020 Total 2,183

 

 

Qulliq Energy Corporation

New developments in programs/services: 

Qulliq Energy Corporation (QEC) would like to inform Nunavummiut that QEC’s upgrades and maintenance season has begun.

Ongoing services:

QEC will continue to deliver safe and reliable power to Nunavummiut. During warmer weather conditions, QEC completes repairs, upgrades, and maintenance to power plants and power line systems. This work is required to ensure that customers have a safe and reliable power supply all year long.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

QEC Customer Care offices in Iqaluit remain closed until further notice. Iqaluit customers are being served by QEC’s Baker Lake Customer Care team by phoning 1-866-710-4200 or emailing customercare@qec.nu.ca with questions or concerns about their accounts.

 

 

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.