Staff Directory

You are here

COVID-19 GN Update - September 8, 2020

08 September 2020

Premier’s update

Good morning. There are still no confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut. The total number of persons followed to date is 2,465. There are 400 persons currently being followed.

It’s September, which for a lot of us feels like an entirely new year. It’s an opportunity to re-start our routines and schedules and refresh some good habits.

I read something earlier on social media that really stuck with me. It said: “COVID isn’t hiding in the halls of our schools. If it isn’t already in the community then there is zero chance of it getting into our schools.” And this has really stuck with me, because as we head into the 2020-21 school year at Stage 1, it really isn’t up to just teachers, students and DEAs to keep our schools safe. It’s up to every single one of us. It’s up to community. It’s up to all of us.

So let’s all work together. Let’s use our collective responsibility to keep one another safe – in our schools, in our public spaces, in our homes. Each and every day.

Thank you


Chief Public Health Officer update

Good morning,

This past weekend marked the end of the14-day period for the 23 people identified as contacts of a positive case of COVID 19 at the Ottawa Residence Inn. With the two-week period concluded, there is no longer a concern that those individuals contracted the virus.

These past weeks we have continued to improve our capacity for in-territory testing. The Biofire device in Iqaluit is now operating alongside the GeneXpert machine. Aside from the need to have increased testing capacity in-territory, we also need to improve the turn around time for test results. This week, the Department of Health is starting a pilot project using charter aircraft to transport COVID-19 samples from Baffin communities to Iqaluit. The goal is to have a system in place that will reduce the test results turn around time to five days or less. Once the system is in place and working, we will begin the same process in Rankin Inlet.

Increased in-territory testing capacity combined with shorter turnaround times for tests results, will give us more flexibility with our public health measures and improve our response in case of an outbreak. However, testing is not enough.

As most people know, the Public Health strategy for minimizing the risks of COVID-19 entering and spreading in the territory relies on several measures. Testing is just one component. Physical distancing, good hygiene like washing our hands, staying home when sick and in the isolation hubs, work in tandem with testing and should not be underestimated.

We should also keep in mind that our public health measures are effective only because Nunavummiut, individually and collectively, follow them. We have been effective so far in reducing the risks because each and everyone of us made the conscious choice to adopt and include these measures in our daily lives. Every time we choose to ignore these measures, the risk increases.

While the risk can never be zero, we know that these measures are working. Nunavut remains COVID-free. We have seen decreases in respiratory illnesses this year across the territory. It is therefore vital that, individually and collectively, we continue to make the choice to follow public health measures and remain active participants in protecting our families and communities.

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

Public Health Emergency

The Public Health Emergency was extended on Sept. 3 to and is in effect until Sept. 17.

Isolation Volumes

Total (All Isolation Locations)

Traveler Type

Guests in Isolation as of Sept. 7







Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date

# of Travellers from Isolation Sites







Critical Worker Requests

As of Sept. 7, there are 5244 requests, 2604 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status



Approved (includes critical and non-critical)









Common Travel Area Approved






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

Construction workers who completed isolation to date: 1283


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.