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COVID-19 GN Update - April 16, 2021

16 April 2021

Premier’s update:

Good morning. Today, we are reporting 12 new cases of COVID-19 in Iqaluit. There are now 13 active cases in Nunavut, all here in the capital.

The total number of persons followed to date is 7335. There are 148 persons currently being followed. 14,035 Nunavummiut have received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine, and 10,434 Nunavummiut are now fully vaccinated.

As you likely saw last night, we have identified potential exposure of COVID-19 at the Storehouse Bar and Grill from April 8-14.

All future exposure notifications will be posted on the Government of Nunavut social media pages and the website, as well as mine, so please check frequently and share those widely.

As we head into a beautiful spring weekend, it’s important that Iqalummiut stay home, don’t visit or have visitors, wear masks, keep distance and ensure any gatherings are limited to five people outside only.

If you go out on the land, please go with your household only. Do not go with friends and family. If you see people out, please keep strong physical distance.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow these rules and slow the spread of this virus. It’s up to each one of us to protect our communities.

I expect that Iqaluit’s COVID case counts will rise, so please don’t panic when you hear the daily numbers – it does mean that we are identifying cases and able to test, trace and isolate them – which is exactly what we need to do.

And please, guys, if you haven’t had your first Moderna vaccine, please call your local health centre to make an appointment. We have the vaccines; the government has done its part. Now it’s up to you.

Protect yourselves, your community, your loved ones and those who can’t be vaccinated. Be safe and well this week. Take care.


Minister of Health Update:

Good morning.

A lot has changed in the last 24 hours and we are starting to see a lot of rumors and misinformation on social media sites and the rumour mill.

I want to remind everyone that our government and our territory has been working on this for a year now and we have built solid foundations and practices around COVID-19. We have learned from other outbreaks and trends around the world.

So please, I ask that you listen to what our government is telling you and not the rumors and the false information. 

This outbreak has drawn a lot of attention on critical workers, and there are people who are angry and guessing about the identities of individuals. This is unfair, and often untrue.

We have gone over a year with the critical worker exemptions in place, without a case of COVID-19.

Our territory relies on critical and rotational staff for everything from food supply and health care to critical maintenance.

Without this program we would lose vital services and put Nunavummiut at risk.

If it is determined that there was a gap in this system that led to the outbreak in Iqaluit, we will address it.

In the meantime, I want to remind everybody, including the critical workers, that it is important to follow the public health measures. Just don’t put people at risk.

Please, do not treat people differently because of their jobs or circumstances.

We are all in this together and no one wants to be sick or see others sick.

Ensure you are listening to the Government of Nunavut about COVID-19. There will always be rumors and panic. We are here to give you the best, most accurate information.

As always, Nunavummiut, we will get through this. Stay safe.


Chief Public Health Officer Update:

Good morning,

Today we have confirmed 12 more cases of COVID-19 in Iqaluit. Individuals are isolating and doing well.

It is important that Iqalummiut are aware that while this is a serious situation it is one that we can gain control of, contain and in time, end.

Through contact tracing, it has been determined that there may have been exposure to COVID-19 starting on Thursday, April 8, at Iqaluit’s Storehouse Bar and Grill.

Anyone who was at the Storehouse Bar and Grill on or after April 8, is being asked to self-monitor for the next 14 days.

Anyone who develops symptoms must begin isolating for 14 days and contact the COVID hotline at 888-975-8601 to schedule testing.

Additionally, anyone who has left Iqaluit since April 7 to another Nunavut community is now being asked to isolate for 14 days from the day they left the city. If you have already returned to Iqaluit, you do not have to isolate. If you are on medical travel and have returned to Iqaluit, you do not have to isolate. The isolation measure is meant to prevent introduction of COVID-19 to communities outside of Iqaluit.

If you know you have been in close contact with a positive person, tell Public Health and isolate. By cooperating and doing your part you stop the spread. Quick contact tracing isolates the virus and stops outbreaks.

Limit your contacts. Choose your bubble and stay within it. This will decrease the risks of getting and transmitting the virus any further.

Finally, this virus doesn’t discriminate between one person or another. It has now been close to 14 months since the beginning of this pandemic, and I would like to remind Nunavummiut that individuals who have tested positive so far come from different backgrounds, have different jobs and circumstances.

Putting blame on others doesn’t stop outbreaks. Following public health measures, testing, tracing and isolating stops outbreaks.

Thank you.


* Correction regarding community transmission statement:

Right now we have links between every single case, all of the people that have been diagnosed with COVID-19, they were identified as having been involved in this chain of transmission somewhere, so no, it does not meet the criteria for calling it community transmission.  



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:

For information on upcoming vaccine clinics go to:


COVID-19 case status: April 16

Total Tests Total confirmed cases Total active cases Total recovered cases Deaths Total persons followed Current persons followed
10,163 408 13 391 4 7,335 148

* 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: April 16

Community Confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday Confirmed COVID-19 cases today Change in case count +/- from previous day Deaths Recovered Cases Total active cases
Iqaluit 1 13 +12 0 0 13
Arviat 339 339 0 1 338 0
Whale Cove 23 23 0 0 23 0
Rankin Inlet 19 19 0 0 19 0
Sanikiluaq 2 2 0 0 2 0
TOTAL  384 396 12 1 382 13

COVID-19 vaccination status: April 16

First doses administered Second doses administered Total vaccine doses administered
14,035 10,434 24,096

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

Testing stats to date: April 16

Community Tests Positive Tests Negative
Iqaluit 13 N/A
Arviat 339 2,883
Whale Cove 23 352
Rankin Inlet 19 399
Sanikiluaq 2 202
TOTAL  396 3,836

Isolation population: 

Traveler Type Guests in Isolation as of April 15
Medical 300
Public  166
Construction 26
Total 560

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date # of Travellers from Health Isolation Sites
April 16, 2021 33
April 17, 2021 4
April 18, 2021 53
April 19, 2021 26
April 20, 2021 63
Total 179

Critical Worker Requests:

As of May 16, there were 15,027 requests, 7,457 of which were critical worker requests.

Request Status # %
Approved (includes critical and non-critical) 11,321 75.3%
Denied 304 2.0%
Pending 475 3.2%
Common Travel Area 2927 19.5%
Total 15,027 100%



Department of Education Services

Schools in Iqaluit

As per the CPHO’s recommendation, schools in Iqaluit will remain closed.

Financial Assistance for Nunavut Students (FANS)

Students booking their FANS eligible travel will have to follow the public health measures and recommendations of the Chief Public Health Officer.

If students have any questions about how their travel may be impacted, they can contact the FANS office for information 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.