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COVID-19 GN Update - April 26, 2021

26 April 2021

Premier’s update:

Good morning. Today, we are reporting nine new cases and nine recoveries of COVID-19 in Nunavut. There are 47 active cases in the territory - 42 in Iqaluit, three in Kinngait and two in Rankin Inlet. There have been 13 recoveries to date in this outbreak.

To date, 15,163 Nunavummiut have received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine, and 12,181 Nunavummiut are now fully vaccinated.

I want to thank the public health teams who worked so hard this weekend to continue contact tracing, testing and helping to adapt to this outbreak. Your work is valued and appreciated, and I want to personally thank you for all you do. We all know how hard you’re working.

And thank you to all Nunavummiut who have been vaccinated so far. And for anyone who hasn’t yet, there’s still time. Call your local health centre to book an appointment. Getting the vaccine is safe, fast and our best defense against #COVID19. Let’s all do our part.

If you are asked to isolate – either through contact tracing, or because you’ve travelled out of Iqaluit - please stay home and take this seriously. It is absolutely necessary that you do. It’s your responsibility to do this for our communities. If you need help or support, ask friends, family and the staff who contact and check in on you. But please, stay home, do not have visitors or go visiting, do not take risks.

As always, I’ll end with this - Mask up. Wash your hands. Keep at least six feet distance from others when you’re outside. Stay home as much as possible. Get vaccinated.

Take care and stay safe.

 

Minister of Health Update:

I think it’s important to start today with a clarification. The individuals who tested positive on Friday night in Rankin Inlet were not even identified as contacts until after their flight had departed Iqaluit.

There is no truth in the rumours that these people left Iqaluit waiting for their COVID test results. It is because of our fast and effective contact tracing system, and our dedicated public health teams that this case was isolated, tested and confirmed so quickly. Thanks again to everyone involved.

So, while I know people in communities are scared, please remember that procedures and public health measures are in place to protect all of us. And this means you need to follow them too.

This week is National Immunization Week, and there’s no time like the present to make an appointment to get your vaccine. If you want to do something to help the fight against COVID-19 in Nunavut, get vaccinated and follow all the public health measures. When we all do our part, we all win in the end.  

 

Chief Public Health Officer Update:

Good morning,

A lot has happened since our last update on Friday.

On Friday, we issued an exposure notice for the Canadian North Flight 239 from Iqaluit to Rankin, Yellowknife and Edmonton. I know many communities are worried about the other passengers who travelled on to other communities and I would like to remind everyone that there has not been a confirmed case of transmission on a domestic flight in Canada. Please remember, anyone leaving Iqaluit or Kinngait must isolate at their destination, as this reduces the risk of transmission in the community.

Over the weekend, we issued a testing notice for anyone who was at the Chartroom Lounge on April 14. Anyone who was there on that day, whether they were customers or staff, should call the COVID hotline to schedule testing. We took this step because our contract tracing and testing has identified a higher risk of exposure from that location on that day. It accounts for approximately 20% of current Iqaluit COVID-19 cases.

This weekend we also confirmed the B.1.1.7 variant in some cases in the city and the strain is circulating in Iqaluit. This variant may spread more easily than the original strain of the virus. That increased rate of transmission makes it even more important that people follow the public health measures. Fortunately, our current restrictions are enough to control the spread of the variant if people take the restrictions seriously.

Current research shows that the Moderna vaccine is effective against this variant, so I urge people to continue making appointments and getting their vaccine, it is our best defence against COVID-19.

I want to clarify the travel restrictions in Iqaluit. While we have taken steps to ensure that supply lines and critical travel are not interrupted and made it possible for people to get to their home communities, all intra-territorial non-essential travel in and out of Iqaluit is prohibited with a few exceptions. If you are not a medical traveller, an essential worker or returning to the community you live in, you should not be travelling and could be fined under the orders if you do.

Most of those who are permitted to travel out of Iqaluit under the exemptions categories I mentioned must isolate upon arrival at their final destination. Failure to isolate can also result in fines. Critical workers must isolate as outlined in their work agreements. That means wearing a mask at all times outside where they are staying. They are only permitted to go to work and then home. If they cannot find someone to get groceries for them, they can shop once per week for the 14-day period of isolation.

If you have symptoms, call the COVID hotline for testing. This is vital. People should not be going out or going to work if they are sick. Symptoms are not always severe. They can be a as minor as a sore throat, runny nose, loss of appetite, muscle aches, feeling tired or an upset stomach. More severe symptoms can include loss of taste and smell and fever. If you feel ill, call the health centre or the COVID hotline.

Transmission can also occur before symptoms appear, so if you don't identify and get tested, there is a chance more people could become ill. We all must work together on this. If you're sick, it's not you fault. If you passed it on it's not your fault. The virus is invisible and there is no way of knowing you were exposed to it until you develop symptoms and that can be as long as 14 days from exposure. This is not about blame, it's about protecting our loved ones.

Finally, a reminder that masks are mandatory in Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit and that includes while in cabs. Cabs cannot be shared by people from multiple households.

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: https://www.gov.nu.ca/health/information/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

For the latest information on current public health restrictions, go to: https://www.gov.nu.ca/health/information/nunavuts-path

For information on upcoming vaccine clinics go to: https://gov.nu.ca/health/information/covid-19-vaccination

 

COVID-19 case status: April 26

Total Tests Total confirmed cases Total active cases Total recovered cases Deaths Total persons followed Current persons followed
11,484 464 47 413 4 8,405 504

* 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 26

Community

Active COVID-19 transmission

Confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday Confirmed COVID-19 cases today Change in case count +/- from previous day Deaths Recovered Cases Total active cases
Iqaluit Ongoing 54 63 9 0 21 42
Kinngait Ongoing 4 4 2 0 1 3
Rankin Inlet Ongoing 2 2 0 0 0 2
Arviat over 339 339 0 1 338 0
Whale Cove over 23 23 0 0 23 0
Rankin Inlet over 19 19 0 0 19 0
Sanikiluaq over 2 2 0 0 2 0
TOTAL    443 452 9 1 404 47

COVID-19 vaccination status: April 26

First doses administered Second doses administered Total vaccine doses administered
15,163 12,181 27,344

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

Testing stats to date: April 26

Community Tests Positive Tests Negative
Iqaluit 63 773
Kinngait 4 99
Arviat 339 2,883
Whale Cove 23 352
Rankin Inlet 21 399
Sanikiluaq 2 202
TOTAL  452 4708

Isolation population: 

Traveler Type Guests in Isolation as of April 25
Medical 329
Public  274
EMTI 38
Construction 38
Total 679

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date # of Travellers from Health Isolation Sites
April 24, 2021 1
April 25, 2021 36
April 26, 2021 50
April 27, 2021 39
April 28, 2021 41
Total 167

Critical Worker Requests:

As of April 26, there were 15,451 requests, 7,689 of which were critical worker requests.

Request Status # %
Approved (includes critical and non-critical) 11,749 76.0%
Denied 307 2.0%
Pending 471 3.0%
Common Travel Area 2927 18.9%
Total 15,451 100%

 

 

Department of Education Services

New developments in programs/ services:

K-12 Schools

As recommended by the Chief Public Health Officer, Rankin Inlet schools will remain at Stage 2.

Today, Monday, April 26, 2021, Arviat schools will move to Stage 1 and implement their Stage 1 action plan.

Ongoing services:

K-12 Schools

The following stages continue to be in effect:

  • Stage 4 – Schools in Kinngait and Iqaluit.
  • Stage 3 – Schools in the Qikiqtani region, except Sanikiluaq, Kinngait, and Iqaluit.
  • Stage 2 – Schools in Rankin Inlet.
  • Stage 1 – Schools in Sanikiluaq, the Kitikmeot region, and Kivalliq region, except for Rankin Inlet.

Schools will implement the appropriate action plan for their current stage.

Early Learning and Child Care

All Nunavut childcare facilities can remain open, with the exception of Kinngait and Iqaluit.

Financial Assistance for Nunavut Students (FANS)

Students booking their FANS-eligible travel must follow the public health measures and recommendations of the CPHO. If students have questions about their travel, they can contact the FANS office for information at fanstravel@gov.nu.ca.

Adjusted services:

K-12 Schools

Today, Monday, April 26, 2021, Arviat schools will move to Stage 1 and implement their Stage 1 action plan.

  • In Stage 1, schools are open full-time for in-school instruction to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12, five days per week.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

K-12 Schools

Kinngait and Iqaluit schools are closed for in-school instruction until further notice.

  • In Stage 4, all instruction will be conducted remotely. All schools are closed to students, staff, and the public. School staff will regularly communicate with all students.

Early Learning and Child Care

Kinngait and Iqaluit child care facilities are closed until further notice.

 

 

Department of Family Services

Adjusted Services:

Rankin Inlet Child Welfare Protection

If you are concerned about the safety and wellbeing of a child and/or youth, call your local Community Social Services Office.

  • Family Wellness (CSSW): 867-645 5064.
  • Emergency On Call (CSSW) 867-645 7608.
  • Family Wellness Supervisor 867-645 6547.
  • Territory-wide contact: 1-844-FW-CHILD (1-844-392-4453).

If you are concerned about the services that a child or youth are receiving or have comments or compliments to share, contact us at 1-855-522-5201 or email us at PublicRelationsFS@gov.nu.ca.

To reach the RCMP, please call 867-645-1111.

Social services and local RCMP contact information for each community can be found on the Family Wellness section of our website at https://www.gov.nu.ca/family-services/information/child-protection.

Visits to the Rankin Inlet Group Home

The Chief Public Health Officer has stated that residents of Rankin Inlet are to remain home as much as possible and limit contact with others outside their immediate households, accordingly, visits to the Rankin Inlet Group Home will not be permitted at this time.  

Rankin Inlet Income Assistance Regional Contact Information

Kivalliq: Toll free 1-800-953-8516 ext. 1604.

Kivalliq Regional Office: 1-867-645-5040 ext. 1602 or ext. 1600.                

Rankin Inlet Career Development Information

Kivalliq: 1-800-953-8516 ext. 1611.

Adult Learning Training Support (ALTS) students currently enrolled in programs in Rankin Inlet will continue to receive their training allowances to the end of the fiscal year.

 

 

 

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.