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COVID-19 GN Update - December 11, 2020

11 December 2020

COVID-19 GN Update - December 11, 2020

Premier’s update:

Good morning. Today, Nunavut has 16 new cases of COVID-19, all in Arviat.

Nunavut now has a total of 56 active cases of COVID-19. The total number of persons followed to date is 5339. There are 648 persons currently being followed. 189 Nunavummiut have now recovered from the virus.

At yesterday’s First Ministers’ meeting, the Prime Minister assured me that Nunavut would get enough of the Moderna vaccine to vaccinate 75 per cent of Nunavut’s population over the age of 18. I am hopeful this will happen in the first quarter of 2021.

We know Moderna – the vaccine that will work across our remote locations - still needs approval. In the meantime, we are working hard to develop our roll-out plan and the logistics and human resources necessary to administer the vaccine.

As we get closer to the holidays, I want Nunavummiut to really understand what this season will look like. We need to prepare for a very different Christmas season.

This means limited gatherings and parties. This year, we need to celebrate virtually, by phone or with distanced window/porch visits.

We need to stay apart this holiday, so we have a chance to come together next Christmas.

As always, please do your part, Nunavummiut. Especially to those in Arviat, please, please don’t take chances. As long as we have people not following the measures, we will see cases rise. It’s up to you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Have a safe weekend.


Chief Public Health Officer Update:

Good morning. This week, the federal government announced approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. As previously mentioned, the Pfizer vaccine’s storage and transport requirements such as the vaccine’s cold chain storage requirement of -80° Celsius, and it’s sensitivity to transport, do not make it an appropriate choice for Nunavut.

Nunavut is waiting for the final approval of the Moderna vaccine. Once approved, the delivery of the vaccine can begin. We expect that in the first 3 months of 2021 Nunavut will receive enough doses to vaccinate 75% of adults living in the territory. The delivery of the vaccine will take into account the unique realities of our territory while ensuring that highest-risk individuals, such as clients and caregivers in long-term care and elders’ centres, for example, are given priority when it comes to vaccine distribution. The details of delivery will depend on the timing of deliveries. Highest priority will be placed on those who are 65 and over, residents of care facilities, the staff who serve those facilities and front-line health care providers. These priorities are consistent with national recommendations on who should be considered highest priority for vaccination. After the high priority groups have received the vaccine, we will make it available to all Nunavummiut who are 18 and older, but to be clear, the exact timing of this will depend on the rate and timing of delivery to Nunavut.


On Monday, I talked about the rapid testing program that began at the Winnipeg isolation hubs on Wednesday. Today, I will share another initiative that is underway to help reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 while reducing the stress that can be caused by current isolation requirements.


The Expedited Medical Travel Isolation (EMTI) program will allow medical travellers attending certain low-risk medical appointments in Southern Canada, to isolate immediately upon their arrival and return home within seven days of leaving Nunavut.

The program requires the medical traveller to:

  • Stay at a Government of Nunavut Isolation site before and after their appointments.
  • Use Government of Nunavut provided transportation for all medical appointments and for travel to and from the airport.
  • Not visit locations other than the isolation site, scheduled appointments, and the airport.
  • Wear appropriate PPE during travel and appointment visits.
  • Follow all isolation requirements for the duration of their stay.
  • Adhere to all return travel requirements in place at the isolation sites.
  • Participants who do not follow these rules will be removed from the program and will have to complete a full 14 days of isolation before returning home.

This is not an opt-in program. The Department of Health staff and the office of the Office of the CPHO, assess the eligibility of appointments based on treatment and procedure types. Travellers whose appointments are approved for this program will be notified by their health centre.

Currently, up to 10 people a week have travelled on this program since it began in November. With case counts rising in the south, it is an effective way to help reduce the chance medical travellers will be exposed to COVID-19.

Finally, I want to say ‘ma’na’ to the communities of Arviat, Whale Cove and Rankin Inlet. The past month has not been easy for the people of these communities and the Kivalliq region as a whole. While there is still work to be done to break transmission in Arviat, I thank everyone who has cooperated with public health measures. It is those efforts that will help us get through this.

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:

For the latest information on current public health restrictions, go to:


COVID-19 case status: Dec. 11

Total confirmed cases Total active cases Total recovered cases Total persons followed Current persons followed
229 56 147 5339 648

COVID-19 community case statistics: Dec. 11

Community Confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday Confirmed COVID-19 cases today Change in case count +/- from previous day Recovered Cases Total active cases
Arviat 187 203 16 147 56
Whale Cove 21 21 0 21 0
Rankin Inlet 19 19 0 19 0
Sanikiluaq 2 2 0 2 0
TOTAL  229 245 16 189 56

Testing stats to date per community: Dec. 11

Community Tests Positive Tests Negative
Arviat 203 812
Whale Cove 21 144
Rankin Inlet 19 251
Sanikiluaq 2 189
TOTAL  245 1396

Isolation population:

Total (All Health Isolation Locations)  
Traveler Type Guests in Isolation as of Dec. 10
Medical 320
Public  258
Total 581

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date # of Travellers from Health Isolation Sites
11-Dec 1
12-Dec 9
13-Dec 70
14-Dec 18
15-Dec 67
Total 165

Critical Worker Requests:

As of Dec.10, there were 10043 requests, 4719 of which were critical worker requests.

Request Status # %
Approved (includes critical and non-critical) 6742 67.1%
Denied 285 2.8%
Pending 232 2.3%
Common Travel Area 2784 27.7%
Total 10043 100%


Department of Family Services

Adjusted services:

Income Assistance offices across Nunavut, with the exception of Arviat, are open.  Due to the current status of COVID-19 in Nunavut, appointments are required.

Please call your local IAW or the Regional Office to set up an appointment. Please leave a message if there is no answer and you will be called back.  You will be advised if the appointment will be in person or on the telephone. At this time, most appointments will be done on the phone.

If you do not have access to a phone, please visit the Income Assistance Office and a future appointment will be set up for you.  Due to Covid-19 there will be only one person allowed into the Income Assistance Office at a time.

If you are receiving EI, CPP, OAS/GIS, CRB or CRCB please have the amount and the last payment date available for your appointment.



Department of Education Services

Device Distribution Update

Digital devices will be distributed for all Grade 11 and 12 students and their teachers.

  • All devices would remain in the school until the community moves into Stage 4.
  • School staff would be able to deliver devices to students immediately prior to any school closures.

The department will have enough devices to support all Grade 11 and 12 students and their teachers by the end of December.

As more devices are received and formatted, they will be gradually distributed to other grades to support remote learning.



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.