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COVID-19 GN Update - November 27, 2020

27 November 2020

COVID-19 GN Update - November 27, 2020

Premier’s update:

Good morning. Today, Nunavut has four new cases of COVID-19, all in Arviat.

Nunavut now has a total of 151 active cases of COVID-19. The total number of persons followed to date is 4744. There are 765 persons currently being followed.

I know there has been some uncertainty over the last few weeks as we’ve had to deal with the reality of this virus in our territory. I’m very pleased to announce that the Government of Nunavut will be providing $1 million towards community food programming, in contribution agreements directly to the hamlets. This way, communities will be able to adapt food programming and delivery to meet their specific needs.

The amounts will be determined by community size. Communities under 1000 people will receive $20,000, communities over 1000 people will receive $45,000, and Iqaluit will receive $100,000. There will also be extra funding for communities affected by COVID-19, to help offset any urgent needs.

As always, we are here to help, and we are working to find ways to ensure you are getting the support you need during these trying times.

Thank you to all Nunavummiut for your continued patience, kindness, positivity, and hard work over the last few weeks. I’m proud and thankful for everything you’re doing in our fight against COVID-19. Let’s stay strong and stay together.

Stay Well. Stay Safe. Stay Home.

Minister of Health Update:

As we head into another weekend of our lock down, I would like to say Thank you to Nunavummiut. I asked you two weeks ago when we announced the lock down that the only way we will beat this virus is if we are vigilant with our social distancing, We must listen to the CPHO orders on isolation and we must protect our families, our neighbours and most importantly our elders. 

We have seen how this virus impacts our communities. We have seen how quickly things can change, and we need to remain focussed in our fight to slow and limit the spread. I know this is hard, but I remind you all to please not visit or socialize outside your household. This is so important.

Please be strict with maintaining physical distance, washing your hands, coughing into your elbow, cleaning surfaces regularly and wearing a mask outside your home.

We are strong, resourceful and capable. Let’s all keep working together to help our communities stay healthy and well. Take care of one another safely, and from a distance.

We also need to recognize our health care providers, not only those on the ground in the communities but those that are working remotely by phone, they are putting in many hours to ensure you are well, So please be kind in your discussions with them and thank them when you can.

Again, in closing, I just want to thank all Nunavummiut for their hard work in working together. We can beat this. Thank you.


Minister of Economic Development and Transportation Update:

During the March lockdown my Department began a targeted initiative to assist artists, tourism operators, retailers and other small Nunavut businesses that have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

That initiative continues to provide up to $5,000 in Small Business Support Program funding to assist eligible businesses with minor working capital costs or extraordinary costs which, if not provided, may threaten the continued viability of the business or organization. Eligible operational costs include but are not limited to: rent, insurance coverage, WSCC coverage, license & permit fees, heating, power, phone, internet and other operating costs. The Department is not able to provide compensation for lost income or revenue.

These low-barrier contributions serve to back-stop Nunavut business, enabling them to meet short-term needs while adapting offerings or funding models. 

This initiative has seen significant uptake; between launch and mid-November the first intake of applications provided a total of $439,834.75 in relief funding to 106 Nunavut business.

I’m here today to announce a second intake to this initiative. Once they have completing reporting on their first contributions, Small Nunavut Businesses can now access a second round of contributions up to $5,000.  As a government we are committed to supporting self-reliance and local employment; Nunavut’s small businesses are an important part of our economy.

As before, to apply for the funding assistance, applicants simply need to complete and submit a short two-page application form and provide a basic explanation of how the business has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. My Department has also developed a one-page fillable form to assist applicants in calculating what their business-related working capital costs are, such as: rent, insurance coverage, WSCC coverage, license & permit fees, heating, power and other operating costs. This information as well as detailed regional contact details are available at


Chief Public Health Officer Update: 

Good morning. Yesterday, the Minister of Health extended the Public Health Emergency to December 10. Extending the Public Health Emergency every two weeks, provides the Chief Public Health Officer with the authority to take additional measures, such as issuing public health orders, to respond to situations like the ongoing pandemic.

Renewing the Public Health Emergency every two weeks does not mean that current restrictions will remain in effect until December 10, but it does allow us to issue and adjust orders to respond to the circumstances by easing or tightening restrictions as described in Nunavut’s Path.

What defines the next steps on Nunavut’s Path - the decisions to maintain, lift or reinstate public health restrictions – is the status of COVID-19 in territory, our testing capacity, and the status of COVID-19 in southern jurisdictions. Our current plan is to complete two full weeks with the current measures in place. When that period is finished, we will adjust measures for most communities, based on the level of COVID-19 in each community.

Over the past few days, our public health teams have determined that more people have recovered from COVID-19. When individuals have recovered, they are not a risk to spread the virus and they are informed by public health that they no longer have to isolate. However, they are still required to follow the public health restrictions.

We have heard that people are worried about catching COVID-19 if they go to the health centres. All our health centres are working hard to minimize the risk of COVID-19. They are ensuring enhanced cleaning is taking place, staff are wearing masks and other personal protective equipment when appropriate, and all patients are required to wear masks.

At this time, access to the health centres is only for necessary treatment that can’t be done over the phone. If you have been asked to go to the health centre, it is because the nurse or physician’s assessment has indicated you require medical attention. It is safe to go to the health centre, please don’t delay necessary medical attention.

Earlier this week, I indicated additional personnel would be coming North to assist with our outbreak response. I am happy to announce that thanks to the Red Cross, we will have four additional resources with expertise in infection prevention and control, arriving to support our team in Arviat. They will provide valuable help with assessments, training and protocol review that will enhance our current practices. The members of the team will work while respecting our current public health restrictions. They will also follow our exempted worker protocols by wearing masks in all public and workplace settings and isolating while not at work.

Here in Iqaluit, the Public Health Agency of Canada has provided a liaison officer for the next two weeks, which will help streamline requests for support from the federal government and provide additional assistance with logistics.  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

For all the latest information and resources about COVID-19 in Nunavut, go to:

For the latest information on current public health restrictions, go to:

COVID-19 case status: Nov. 27

Community Confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday  Confirmed COVID-19 cases today Change in case count +/- from previous day Recovered cases
Arviat 115 119 4 2
Whale Cove 19 19 0 2
Rankin Inlet 19 19 0 2
Sanikiluaq 2 2 0 2
TOTAL 155 159 4 8

Testing stats to date: Nov. 27

Community Tests positive Tests negative
Arviat 119 471
Whale Cove 19 80
Rankin Inlet 19 188
Sanikiluaq 2 168
TOTAL 159 907

COVID-19 case status: Nov. 27

Total Confirmed cases Total active cases Total recovered cases Total persons followed Current persons followed
159 151 8 4744 765

Isolation population:

Total (All Health Isolation Locations)  
Traveler Type Guests in Isolation as of Nov. 24
Medical 339
Public 159
Total 498

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date # of Travellers from health Isolation Sites
Nov 27 2020 45
Nov 28 2020 2
Nov 29 2020 4
Nov 30 2020 91
Dec 01 2020 28
Total 170

Critical Worker Requests:

As of November 24, there were 9333 requests, 4359 of which were critical worker requests.

Request Status # %
Approved (includes critical and non-critical) 6265 66.3%
Denied 281 3.0%
Pending 298 3.2%
Common Travel Area Approved  2609 27.6%
Total 9453 100%


Department of Education Services

As announced by the federal government on November 25, the Government of Nunavut has secured further funding to support remote learning. 

With the funding available of $1.18M, the Department of Education plans to purchase the following:

  • 2,192 devices (Split between Chromebooks and Apple iPads)
  • 2,192 mobile data sticks
  • 350 rugged cases w/keyboard for iPads

Devices and internet sticks will be distributed strategically to students and school staff in affected communities. These devices are in addition to the 3,000 devices already purchased by the department.


Department of Economic Development and Transportation Services

Today Minister Akeeagok launched a second intake for the Small Business Support Program’s dedicated COVID-19 support. Small Nunavut Businesses can now access a second round of contributions up to $5,000. These low-barrier contributions serve to back-stop Nunavut business, enabling them to meet short-term needs while adapting offerings or funding models.

A one-page fillable form is available to assist Small Nunavut Businesses in calculating what their business-related working capital costs are, such as: rent, insurance coverage, WSCC coverage, license & permit fees, heating, power and other operating costs. This information as well as detailed contact and the two page application is available at


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.