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COVID-19 GN Update - April 28, 2021

28 April 2021

Premier’s update:

Good morning. Today, we are reporting six new cases and five recoveries of COVID-19, all in Iqaluit. There are 50 active cases in the territory - 46 in Iqaluit, two in Kinngait and two in Rankin Inlet. There have been 33 recoveries to date in this outbreak.

To date, 15,528 Nunavummiut have received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine, and 12,285 Nunavummiut are now fully vaccinated.

Today, I wanted to address something that seems to be misunderstood in our communities. For some reason, I’m seeing a lot of commentary about Iqaluit not having restrictions.

Nunavummiut, this is not the case at all. Iqaluit has been in lockdown since April 14. Schools, bars, restaurants and non-essential businesses are all closed. People are working from home and kids are learning remotely. I’m not sure where this misrepresentation came from, but rest assured, we are taking this outbreak very seriously here.

There are good reasons to be concerned about COVID-19 and the situation across the country. But we also need to stay calm and know our personal responsibility in keeping this under control to make sure we limit the spread. We are all in this together. We always have been. Make sure you do your part.

Nunavummiut, you know what to do. 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:

As you all know, we have dedicated staff working around the clock during this COVID-19 outbreak. They all deserve our thanks and gratitude. What they do not need is verbal abuse or anger.  

It has come to my attention that this has been happening to the nurses on the other end of the COVID hotline, and that is unacceptable. These people are working tirelessly for you, for our communities and for the well-being of our territory.

I know many people are worried and scared right now. This is completely normal. And the wait times to get through on the hotline are longer than usual as we deal with this outbreak in Iqaluit.

I’m asking that you show our staff patience, compassion and understanding. They deserve that, at the very least. Your fears and frustrations are not an excuse to mistreat or harass them.

We know this is an imperfect system, and we are working to find solutions and efficiencies. But in the meantime, I’m asking everyone to show care, gratitude and understanding to everyone. They are working hard for you, and that is a selfless job.

Thank you to all staff who continue to dedicate their time and energy to keeping us safe. We appreciate you.

 

Chief Public Health Officer Update:

Good Morning.

Today we are announcing 6 new cases and 5 recoveries in Iqaluit. In both Kinngait and Rankin Inlet there are 2 cases of active COVID-19 infection. The territorial total is 50 people with active COVID-19.

Earlier this week, we announced that the B.1.1.7 variant has been detected and appears to be the only strain of COVID-19 in Nunavut. Although this variant spreads more easily than the original strain, other jurisdictions have been able to control the spread of this strain with public health measures and vaccination, and these measures will work for Nunavut as well.

Currently, there are increased measures in communities where there is a higher chance of COVID-19 arriving. These are designed so that if COVID-19 arrives it is less likely to spread as fast as it would in other times. Nevertheless, there are many things individuals can do to protect themselves and their community. Limiting the size of group gatherings, wearing masks, especially indoors, and eliminating non-essential travel, protects not only each individual who follows the recommendations, but the community as well.

Experience has shown that contact tracing works to stop transmission. It takes a lot of hard work by a dedicated team of health care professionals. But those professionals depend on the co-operation of everyone who has COVID-19 or has been exposed to COVID-19. It also depends on people being tested, sometimes repeatedly. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have participated in this important work, including community members who have been exposed, and provided vital information and agreed to being tested.

Lastly, I would like to remind everyone that the time needed for isolation after infection or exposure can vary a lot, depending on the circumstances. For those who have been infected with COVID-19, you will need to isolate for at least 10 days, and only leave isolation when cleared by a public health nurse. 

If you’ve been told to isolate because you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 you will need to isolate for at least 14 days. A negative test is reassuring but does not mean that isolation ends early. When isolating you should not go to work or shopping, and if someone in a house is isolating, you should not be having any visitors inside the house.

 

 

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

COVID-19 Hotline: To determine if you need a COVID-19 test or are a part of the testing notice from the Chartroom, call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-975-8601. The nurses will take your information and you will be called when an appointment time is set.

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 28

Total Tests Total confirmed cases Total active cases Total recovered cases Deaths Total persons followed Current persons followed
11,747 478 50 424 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 28

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 71 77 6 0 31 46
Kinngait Ongoing 4 4 0 0 2 2
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    460 466 6 1 415 47

COVID-19 vaccination status: April 28

First doses administered Second doses administered Total vaccine doses administered
15,528 12,285 27,813

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

Testing stats to date: April 28

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 27
Medical 330
Public  243
EMTI 72
Construction 46
Total 691

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date # of Travellers from Health Isolation Sites
April 28, 2021 57
April 29, 2021 89
April 30, 2021 38
May 1, 2021 3
May 2, 2021 50
Total 237

Critical Worker Requests:

As of April 28, there were 15,609 requests, 7,794 of which were critical worker requests.

Request Status # %
Approved (includes critical and non-critical) 11,868 76.0%
Denied 308 2.0%
Pending 506 3.2%
Common Travel Area 2927 18.8%
Total 15,609 100%

 

 

Department of Community and Government Services

All construction isolations booked through CPHOConstructionRequests@gov.nu.ca.  Isolations occurred in Ottawa and Quebec City Construction hubs as well as Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Construction Workers Completed Isolation and Travelled to Nunavut  
2021 Total to Date 769
January 164
February 220
March 204
April 181
May – Dec 2020 Total 2,183

 

 

Department of Economic Development and Transportation Services

Ongoing services:

Airport Operations & Maintenance

Kinngait Airport

  • Essential airport operations will continue to facilitate cargo and emergency flights.
  • Access to the airport is restricted to essential staff, passengers, and people providing necessary assistance to passengers.
  • Masks must be worn at all times inside the airport.
  • All staff and passengers must follow public health guidelines.

Iqaluit Airport

  • Iqaluit Airport operations including flights and maintenance will continue.
  • Passengers who depart Iqaluit at this time are required to isolate for 14 days upon arrival at their destination.
  • Passengers travelling through Iqaluit are strongly discouraged from leaving the airport.
  • Access to the airport is restricted to staff, passengers, and people providing necessary assistance to passengers.
  • Masks must be worn at all times inside airport.  
  • All staff and passengers must follow public health guidelines.

Economic Development Programs

The Community Economic Development Office in Pangnirtung will continue to provide support and services to Iqaluit and Kinngait businesses and residents.

Address: P.O. Box 612, Pangnirtung, NU X0A 0R0.
Toll Free: 1-844-737-8628.
Phone: 867-473-2661.
Fax: 867-473-2663.
Email: edt@gov.nu.ca.

Adjusted services:

Motor Vehicles

Motor vehicle services in Iqaluit and Kinngait are available by emailing MotorVehicles@gov.nu.ca or calling 1-888-975-5999. In-person Motor Vehicle services in Kinngait are closed and limited in-person services in Iqaluit may be available by appointment.

Vehicle registration services in Iqaluit are available by completing the following steps: 

  • Step 1:    Call 1-888-975-5999 or email MotorVehicles@gov.nu.ca for instructions and assistance with submitting the required forms and documents.
  • Step 2:    A Motor Vehicles agent will schedule an appointment time to pick-up your completed registration. The agent will advise you of the cost and available payment arrangements.
  • Step 3:    Pick-up your registration and provide payment at the Iqaluit Motor Vehicles office at your scheduled time. Contactless pick-up protocols are in place. Please follow the instructions provided.

Updates on additional adjusted motor vehicle services will be provided as they become available.

Nunavummiut can also visit gov.nu.ca/motorvehicles to access:

  • Driver’s Licence Renewals
  • General Identification Card Renewals
  • Vehicle Registration Renewals
  • Requests for Driver’s Abstracts, Vehicle Searches, and Accident Reports

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • The Iqaluit Visitors Center is closed.
  • The Fisheries and Sealing offices cannot offer sealskin sales at this time. 
  • All non-urgent Motor Vehicles services including driver’s exams are suspended.
  • Meetings or in-person training sessions hosted by the department are cancelled.

 

 

Department of Finance Services

Adjusted services:

Government of Nunavut Payroll

All GN employees will continue to be paid as scheduled. There may be delays in processing non-standard pay such as overtime and acting pay. Indeterminate employees will receive regular salary, while casual and relief employees will be paid in accordance with submitted timesheets.

Employees who receive cheques will continue to receive them as usual. For those who receive direct deposit, paystubs will be sent by mail.

For more information, please contact Tracey Moyles, Director of Compensation and Benefits at tmoyles@gov.nu.ca.

 

 

Department of Justice Services

Adjusted services:

Community Justice

In-person meetings for Community Justice in Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Kinngait are restricted to emergency situations where the client has no access to a phone or safe location to contact our service providers over the phone. Individuals are asked to contact the on-call Family Abuse Intervention Act (FAIA) line if they have any questions or need support using the following number 1-844-534-1038. The call will be assessed to determine the support needed and directed to a Community Justice Specialist who can help with applications and resource referrals.

Community Corrections

The Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Kinngait Community Corrections office will be closed to the public until further notice. All Community Corrections clients are to report by phone using the following contact information:

  • For Iqaluit:
    • Mary Jackson: 867-222-1932.
    • Lori Karetak: 867-222-3541.
       
  • For Rankin Inlet:
    • Rosie Ussak: 867-645-6458.
       
  • For Kinngait:
    • Rose Roswell: 867-222-9613.
    • Megan Sandoval: 867-222-0390.
       

Correctional Facilities

Corrections will implement safety protocols to prevent COVID-19 from entering our facilities and mitigate the risk of spread in the event it does.  Measures in place include suspending all outside visitation and non-essential traffic. We appreciate the patience and support from inmates and their families in taking this step as we are aware this is not easy.

Given the heightened security risks associated with corrections, we can not provide specific details regarding our individual institutional plans. However, we can provide the following information regarding steps being taken:

  • All intakes will be isolated for a period of 14 days upon intake.
  • Institutions have added additional hand sanitizing stations in high traffic areas.
  • Response/containment kits have been outfitted with gloves, masks, face shields, gowns and instructions for use.
  • Nurses are diligently screening inmates upon intake for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Increased cleaning protocols to ensure communal surfaces are cleaned on an increased schedule throughout the day.

Labour Standards

The Labour Standards Office can be contacted by phone using the following numbers:

  • Phone:1-867-975-6322.  
  • Toll Free: 1-877-806-8402.    
  • Fax: 1-867-975-6367.

The Office is still available to answers questions Nunavummiut may have regarding the Labour Standards Act and Regulations.

Court Services

The Court house will be closed to the public. Court registry will be available to support the public over the phone and through email. Please use the following contact information for service.

If your matter involves criminal or youth proceedings, please contact the criminal Registrar at 867-975-6101 or by email at ncj.criminal@gov.nu.ca.

If your matter involves civil, family or children law proceedings please contact the Civil Registrar at 867-975-6102 or by email at ncj.civil@gov.nu.ca.

Also, if your matter involves civil enforcement please contact the sheriff office at 867-975-6103 or by email at ncj.sheriff@gov.nu.ca.

Legal Registries

The Legal Registries office will be closed to the public. Individuals can access all registry services at 867-975-6590 or by email at Corporate.Registries@gov.nu.ca.

Victims Services

The Victim Services Office is closed to the public at this time. However, Nunavummiut who need to contact the office can do so by calling Toll Free 1-866-456-5216 or emailing victimservices@gov.nu.ca. Services will be provided on a case-by-case basis.

Rental Office

The Rental Office will be closed to the public. To contact the Office, please call 867-975-6314 or email Rentaloffice@gov.nu.ca.

Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

The Office of the Public Guardian will be closed to the public. To contact the Office, please use the following contact information:

For estate matters please contact:
Telephone: 1-867-222-4039.
Email: Public.Trustee@gov.nu.ca.

For guardianship matters please contact:
Telephone: 867-222-1805.
Email: Publicguardian@gov.nu.ca.

Family Support

Family Support services are ongoing. The office will be closed to the public. For information regarding your files, please use the following contact information:

Phone: 867-975-6112.
Toll Free: 1-800-792-4183.
Email: fsp@gov.nu.ca.

 

 

Department of Education Services

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.

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.

 

 

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.