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COVID-19 GN Update - April 22, 2020

22 April 2020

Premier’s update:

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

Today, the total number of people under investigation to date is 485. 235 people are currently under investigation and 250 people are no longer under investigation.

I’m happy to announce that through the Nunavut Development Corporation, the Government of Nunavut is funding seamstresses to make 5,000 face masks for Elders, Nunavummiut with underlining health conditions, and non-medical first responders like firefighters. At least 500 have been set aside immediately for our air travellers, to comply with Transport Canada’s new requirements for travellers.

These masks will be made of cotton, are washable, re-usable and are made according to national standards and guidelines. They are not meant to replace other measures such as social distancing and washing hands but give an additional layer of protection.

Simple how-to instructions are being developed so people can sew their own at home.

You may have heard this morning that the Prime Minister announced funding and opportunities for students in response to COVID-19. We look forward to receiving more information on those programs and how they will help Nunavut’s students as the summer approaches.

From our end, FANS students’ payment for this school year ends on April 30, unless their program continues into May. We are committed to our students and to helping them succeed in their post-secondary opportunities. Students are encouraged to book travel back to their home community before May 1 and should check their email for more information.

Today is Earth Day, and that looks different this year than most. We can’t go enjoy our parks or come together in groups outside to celebrate.

What we can do, is hold onto the importance of keeping ourselves and our environment healthy. Healthy Nunavummiut, healthy communities and a healthy territory are important now more than ever.

This year, let’s celebrate Earth Day apart, to ensure we’re all healthy.


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

Face covering requirements for air travellers

The Government of Canada is directing that all travellers (with limited exceptions) must have a removable non-medical mask or face covering large enough to cover their mouth and nose during their travel through Canadian airports and in-flight. This directive is in effect as of Monday, April 20, 2020 at 12:00 ET.

Customers who do not have mandatory face coverings will not be allowed to travel. Please note that these coverings do not need to be medical masks. Any face covering including a scarf or similar item is acceptable.

Isolation Sites

Those in isolation have access to cable, internet, three meals a day, fresh linens and cleaning supplies. Garbage is picked up daily. These costs are covered by the Government of Nunavut. The GN will pay for diapers, baby formula and feminine products. Guests are responsible to order these products through the provided delivery services, but they will not be charged for the items.

The information package has been updated to include information on grocery orders and take out. Both can be delivered to the hotel. These deliveries and related costs are not covered by the GN.


Total (All Isolation Locations)

Traveler Type

Guests in Isolation as of April 22

Medical Travel









Traveller repatriation summary:


Departure Date

# of Travellers from Isolation Sites


April 22



April 22



April 23



April 23



April 24



April 24



Critical Worker Requests

As of April 21, there are 653 requests, 498 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status



Approved (includes critical and non-critical)













Department of Family Services

For FANS students:

Unless your program of study continues into May, FANS funding ends on April 30, 2020. Your last payment was deposited in your account on April 15, 2020.

As a result, the FANS Office is recommending that you return to your home community.

You have until May 1, 2020 to book your travel home. After this date, we cannot guarantee that FANS will pay for your travel home.

You can book your travel home through Top of the World Travel by emailing

Please be aware that, as per FANS policy, if you miss your flight, you will be responsible for paying for your own travel home. So, please make sure you understand your flight itinerary.

FANS will be sending out additional information next week on sources of funding for living expenses after April 30, 2020.


Department of Economic Development and Transportation Services

The Department of Economic Development and Transportation (EDT) is working jointly with Nunavut Development Corporation (NDC) to produce non-medical masks for public use. This represents an initial investment of $35,000.

The goal of this initiative is to provide a steady supply of masks that will allow Nunavut to comply with the latest Transport Canada requirements for travellers, as well as ensure specific groups such as non-medical front line staff, Elders and Nunavummiut with pre-existing health conditions can use masks as an additional layer of protection.

The masks are made of cotton, are washable, re-usable and are made according to national standards and guidelines. Kits will be sent to seamstresses with production guidelines and directions.

Simple how-to instructions are being developed so people can sew their own masks at home.

Non-medical masks provide additional protection. They do not replace social distancing and other protective measures.


Non-medical face masks or face coverings should:

  • be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)
  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping
  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
  • allow for easy breathing
  • be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
  • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
  • maintain their shape after washing and drying

Some masks also include a pocket to accommodate a paper towel or disposable coffee filter, for increased benefit. If possible, use different fabrics for each side of the mask, so you know which side faces your mouth and which side is out.

Non-medical masks or face coverings:

  • should not be placed on children under the age of two years
  • should not be placed on anyone unable to remove them without assistance or anyone who has trouble breathing
  • should not be made of plastic or other non-breathable materials
  • should not be made exclusively of materials that easily fall apart, such as tissues
  • should not be secured with tape or other inappropriate materials
  • should not be shared with others
  • should not impair vision or interfere with tasks



  1. Ensure the face covering is clean and dry.
  2. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before touching the mask. If none is available, use hand sanitizer with a minimum 60% alcohol base.
  3. Ensure your hair is away from your face.
  4. Place the face covering over your nose and mouth and secure to your head or ears with its ties or elastics.
  5. Adjust if needed to ensure nose and mouth are fully covered.
  6. The mask should fit snugly to the cheeks and there should not be any gaps.
  7. Repeat Step 2.


While wearing a non-medical mask or face covering, it is important to avoid touching your face. If you do touch your mask or face, you should immediately wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. You can also use hand sanitizer with a minimum 60% alcohol base.



  1. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

    • If none is available, use hand sanitizer with a minimum 60% alcohol base.
  2. Remove the face covering by un-tying it or removing the loops from your ears.
    • Avoid touching the front of the mask when removing it.
    • It can be placed in a plastic bag temporarily if you are not at home.
      • Make sure you close, or zip seal the bag while storing it.
  3. If you plan to reuse the mask, wash it before wearing it again.
    • It can be washed with hot, soapy water, or it can be washed with your other laundry.
    • If throwing it out, place it into a garbage bin or plastic bag.
  4. After removing the face covering, repeat Step 1.


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.