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COVID-19 GN Update - October 2, 2020
COVID-19 GN Update
Good morning. We are still awaiting confirmatory results from the individuals tested at Hope Bay Mine.
The total number of persons followed to date is 2981. There are 465 persons currently being followed.
Before Dr. Patterson speaks about the situation at Hope Bay Mine, I want to take a few minutes to speak directly to Nunavummiut about our responsibilities; each and every single one of us.
As we see cases rising quickly in parts of Southern Canada, it is clear we are into the second wave of this virus. COVID-19 is nowhere close to being over. It will be part of our lives for the foreseeable future and we don’t know when there will be a vaccine or effective treatment.
So, we all need to make sacrifices to keep each other safe. We need to change individual actions and behaviours and show our care for neighbours and community.
Please remember your actions impact everyone’s health. That’s why it’s so important to follow public health measures – handwashing often, maintaining physical distancing, frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, following the gathering size limits, isolating and wearing masks when you need to.
Chief Public Health Officer update
Good morning. On September 28, the Department of Health activated its Rapid Response Team to contain an outbreak of COVID-19 at TMAC Resources’ Hope Bay mine.
TMAC Resources contacted my office on September 26 about an employee developing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The individual and identified contacts were swabbed and the samples sent to Rankin Inlet for testing.
Seven of the samples yielded positive results, and all were sent to a southern lab for confirmatory testing. Two of those tests have since been confirmed.
As the test results indicated transmission of COVID-19 at the mine site, we initiated our rapid response plan to assist in containing the virus.
All non-critical travel to and from the mine was also halted.
The Rapid Response Team has been conducting additional contact tracing and taking samples.
As of last night, five more swabs were flown to Rankin Inlet for testing on the GeneXpert or BioFire devices, one has tested positive and will be sent for confirmatory testing. The results of one test are still pending. Another eight swabs will be delivered to Rankin Inlet tomorrow.
To accurately detect the virus, high risk contacts from the initial batch of tests have been re swabbed to ensure testing is being done at appropriate times during the incubation period.
All those who tested positive and high-risk, non-critical staff contacts have been isolated.
Critical staff contacts who are required to continue working for the safety of the other workers, are doing so until they can be replaced. Those staff are following strict measures to keep isolated from those around them, including wearing masks. Workers who develop symptoms will be required to isolate immediately.
As of Yesterday, the two individuals who were symptomatic have had their symptoms resolve.
The Rapid Response Team is currently continuing contact tracing and containment operations and are expected to be on site until the middle of next week.
While the transmission of COVID-19 at the mine is concerning, the risk to Nunavummiut from this outbreak remains low. Hope Bay does not currently have Nunavummiut working on site and there is no contact from the mine to any Nunavut communities.
Once the Rapid Response Team concludes its work, my office will review the incident and information gathered by the Rapid Response Team. From there, we will determine if there are enhanced measures needed to reduce the risk of another outbreak.
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
|Total (All health isolation locations|
|Traveler||Guests in isolation as of Oct 2|
Traveller repatriation summary:
|Departure date||# of travellers from health isolation sites|
Critical Worker Requests
As of Oct. 1, there were 6615 requests, 3174 of which were critical worker requests.
|Approved (includes critical and non-critical)||4627||69.9%|
|Common Travel Area Approved||1607||24.3%|
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: 1591
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.