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COVID-19 GN Update - May 8, 2020

08 May 2020

Premier’s update:

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

Today, the total number of people under investigation to date is 805. 291 people are currently under investigation and 514 are no longer under investigation.

As you may know, we’re nearing the end of Mental Health Week. Self-care, checking-in and reaching out are important now, more than ever.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please ask for help. Lean on one another when you can, and please remember, even when you’re feeling alone, that you aren’t.

We may have to be physically further apart right now, but we are still together, even from afar. We are always connected and always worthy.

Over the last couple days, I have heard of more great community initiatives across the territory. I want to take a few moments to mention a few.

In Kugluktuk, the hamlet has organized an art club, bingo nights, an at-home trivia night and more!

Arviat has delivered packages of toys, to help keep kids occupied with they stay home and stay well during COVID-19.

And in Cambridge Bay, the hamlet is holding a culture-themed TikTok competition for youth. The women of Cambridge Bay have also made the very touching Light and Love video, about lighting qulliq. If you haven’t already, check it out on YouTube.

There are so many communities and individuals being innovative and selfless during this pandemic. If you have a project or idea you want me to know about, please share it with me!

Seeing examples of community spirit and creative initiatives have been excellent, and kept me positive during these long, sometimes difficult days.

And finally, Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday. I’m wishing Nunavut’s mothers a great day and I hope that families are able to enjoy, even if you have to be apart.

Have a good weekend, and keep up all your hard work to keep yourselves and one another safe.


Minister of Health update:

It was announced at the start of this year by the World Health Organization that all of 2020 was to be recognized as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. This was an opportunity to celebrate the vital role of nurses and midwives in the delivery of health care services across the world.

Several months later, in the midst of this global pandemic, we are not just talking about their essential role in keeping us healthy, we are experiencing it firsthand. Nurses and midwives continue to deliver vital health care services in our territory, in our country, and throughout the world.

May 11 to 17 is recognized as National Nursing Week. As our nurses work tirelessly to ensure that Nunavummiut have access to the care they need, I think it’s important that we all take this opportunity to show them our immense gratitude for their service and their contribution to this territory. Nunavut has more than 300 nurses who are essential to the development and delivery of programs that keep Nunavummiut healthy. In these uncertain times, as the world battles COVID-19, our nurses are on the front line, providing care to those who need it most. This pandemic has demonstrated our nurses’ willingness to put their own health and safety at risk to protect and care for those around them.

This National Nursing Week, and indeed this entire Year of The Nurse and Midwife, give us an opportunity to shine a spotlight on these essential health staff. However, our gratitude for your service is not restricted to a single week, or a single year. I would like all Nunavummiut to join me in showing our ongoing appreciation for your continued dedication to this 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


Total (All Isolation Locations)

Traveler Type

Guests in Isolation as of May 7

Medical Travel







Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date

# of Travellers from Isolation Sites

May 8


May 9


May 10


May 11


May 12



Critical Worker Requests

As of May 7, there are 922 requests, 708 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status



Approved (includes critical and non-critical)













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.

  • 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.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

Only emergency dental services will be provided in until further notice.

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 Education Services

Child Care Facilities

  • From March 17 to April 21, 2020, the Government of Nunavut provided licenced child care facilities $885,000 to cover parental fees. This funding enabled facilities to continue paying staff while transitioning to financial assistance programs offered by the Government of Canada, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canadian Wage Subsidy Program.
  • The Canadian Wage Subsidy Program covers 75% of staff’s wages and has now been extended beyond June.
  • The Department of Education provides licenced child care facilities with
    $4.2 million annually in operation and maintenance funding. This funding will continue while facilities are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Department of Education continues to provide licencing for child care facilities, training for staff, and create and distribute educational resources.
  • The Government of Nunavut continues to work with the Government of Canada, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the regional Inuit organizations, and other stakeholders to support child care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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.