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COVID-19 GN Update - January 11, 2022

11 January 2022

Premier’s update:

Ullakkut,

As of this morning Nunavut has 192 positive cases of COVID-19.

We have active cases in 13 communities:

  • 21 in Arviat.
  • 16 in Cambridge Bay.
  • Four in Chesterfield Inlet.
  • Two in Igloolik.
  • 55 in Iqaluit.
  • 22 in Kinngait.
  • Eight in Pangnirtung.
  • One in Pond Inlet.
  • Four in Qikiqtarjuaq.
  • 35 in Rankin Inlet.
  • One in Sanikiluaq.
  • Eight in Sanirajak.
  • Seven in Whale Cove.

In addition, there is one presumptive case in Taloyoak. There are 26 recoveries today. There have been 165 total recoveries in this outbreak.

On a positive note, I am pleased to announce that many of you are rolling up your sleeves to get vaccinated. To date, 89 per cent of Nunavummiut five years and older have received their first dose, 71 per cent have received their second dose. Approximately 39 per cent of Nunavummiut over the age of 18 have received their booster shots.

I hope that every one of you rolls up your sleeves and gets vaccinated – and please get your kids vaccinated as well.

Yesterday, I attended a First Ministers’ Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Trudeau, on the COVID-19 status in Canada. It is clear from the reports from premiers across the country that we are in a critical situation. Resources such as nurses, lab capacity and health care staff are limited. Many hospitals in the south are already overwhelmed with cases. I took the opportunity at this meeting to re-state our urgent healthcare needs.

The federal government has already stepped up to provide:

  • Rapid test kits.
  • N95 masks.
  • Support for improving ventilation in our schools.

However, I noted that Nunavut continues to need help on the human resources front – especially nurses and lab technicians. I also stressed the need to address our housing gap. Overcrowding is severely impacting the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Nunavut needs immediate action on housing to provide our residents homes to safely isolate in.

As of Friday January 7, we have started to distribute take home rapid test kits to airports in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Ottawa, Sanikiluaq, Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Yellowknife. These rapid tests will provide another tool for managing the outbreaks in our communities.

Last week I held an urgent meeting with members of my cabinet to discuss each department’s plans for rolling out emergency COVID initiatives. I want to ensure that Nunavummiut receive the supports needed to weather this outbreak. I was pleased with the innovated plans presented by ministers and look forward to announcing some of these initiatives soon.

Please continue to do your part to keep Nunavut safe from Omicron.

  • Stay home.
  • Get vaccinated.
    • And get your booster shot.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Alert the COVID hotline and isolate if you have any symptoms.

We all need to do our part to keep our communities safe. Qujannamiik.

 

Minister of Health Update:

Good morning,

To begin, I know many in Arviat are wondering about the Elders’ facility after six staff members were identified through contact tracing and diagnosed with COVID-19. None of the Elders at the facility have been identified as high-risk contacts nor have any tested positive for COVID-19. We have a number of casual staff who cover shifts at the Elders’ home in Arviat and staffing levels remain stable. It is also an assisted living facility, which means the clients are relatively independent and require less direct staff interaction and support.

Looking at the past two weeks, I have to offer a huge Matna/Qujannamiik/Koana to Nunavut health staff. You’ve faced a massive workload and many other challenges, but you have done us all proud. Our nurses and lab staff have been working around the clock on Covid testing, analyzing results, and contract tracing to track and contain the virus. Our support staff have also played an important role in our response to date.

Omicron’s spread in our communities and the rapid rise in case counts has made Health adjust our operations. We brought on additional support services and adjusted protocols. We added virtual support for the hotline and contact tracing. We also redeployed allied health staff to support case monitoring. These actions were needed for Health to continue delivering an effective COVID response while still offering other essential health services.

We are all in this together. I want to thank all the Nunavummiut who have also helped fight COVID over the holiday period. Those considerate, caring people, who didn’t gather indoors, who cancelled their dinners and travel plans, and got vaccinated over the holiday period. It may feel small, but each single action we take against COVID is important in protecting our families, friends and communities.

By following public health measures, by getting vaccinated, by avoiding non-essential travel, and by wearing a mask – we can all take action to reduce our COVID-19 risks, reduce the length of outbreaks in our communities, and reduce the need for strict public health restrictions.

I truly appreciate the efforts Health staff and so many Nunavummiut have made in working together during the past two weeks. Despite our difficulties, we are headed in the right direction. Please, let’s keep going.

Thank you.

 

Minister of Education Update:

Ublaakkut,

I am grateful for the opportunity to address you this morning.

I understand the concerns that families, school staff, and communities have around keeping our learners healthy and safe as we begin to re-open our schools and child care facilities. I share those concerns, and since this pandemic began, my department has made the health and safety of our students its highest priority.

We must balance the risk of transmission of COVID-19 with the harms of extended school closures. While we know the current COVID-19 environment is particularly concerning, my department is working closely with the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) to ensure students and staff can return to school safely, when the time is right.

Unless directed otherwise by the CPHO, we are expecting school staff to be able to return to school on January 17 to provide remote instruction and prepare for the return of students on January 24. Whether it is provided through our online platform Edsby, or through take-home learning packages, remote instruction beginning January 17 will be assessed, and will count towards final grades.

It is important to remember that the situation could change at any time based on the direction of the CPHO.

Due to rapidly-increasing cases of COVID-19 in the territory, the CPHO will provide further guidance later this week on the exact date for school re-openings by community.

While the circumstances are quickly changing, we have dealt with these challenges before. We know how to learn together, and we have proven that we know how to care for each other.

Schools will continue to be guided by the documents that were provided at the beginning of the school year, as well as their own experience from previous school closures.

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, additional health and safety guidelines have been shared with schools. Schools have also been provided with large volumes of disposable medical-grade child and adult masks.

All of our schools have established processes to safely deliver learning packages and/or devices for remote learning. Devices purchased by my department last year remained in the high schools and are ready to be distributed. My team has been working diligently to ensure that devices have been activated and are ready to go. Every community in the territory has received some devices to support remote learning, and schools have been given the flexibility to distribute devices where they will be most useful.

January diploma exams for Nunavut students have been cancelled due to the evolving COVID-19 situation across the territory. This decision applies only to the January 2022 exams. Decisions around the April and June diploma exams will be made at a later date.

Students who were scheduled to write a diploma exam in January 2022 will receive an exemption, and their school mark will stand for 100 per cent of their overall mark. Students and families should contact their school with any questions.

Last week, Premier Akeeagok and I asked child care facilities to re-open to help critical industry workers who are in desperate need of child care. I would like to thank those facilities who have reached out to my department and have re-opened and are accepting children.

We understand that there is some fear and concern about the safety of staff and children should facilities re-open. My department will work with facilities to provide support around health and safety and be available to answer any questions they may have.

As a way to recognize child care facilities willing to re-open, my department is exploring the possibility of monetary incentives for the facilities and their staff. We know that without your support, our critical services are significantly threatened.

For Nunavut’s post-secondary students, I am pleased to share that COVID-19 has not caused any delays in Financial Assistance for Nunavut Students (FANS) benefits and the FANS January payments to students have been issued as scheduled.

Although response times from the FANS office may be delayed due to active COVID-19 cases in Arviat, FANS payments are not delayed. Any FANS students who have questions about their payments should contact the FANS office at FANS@gov.nu.ca.

In closing, I would like to ask all of you, to please do whatever you can to support your students and your schools. We need all Nunavummiut to help our students go back to school safely by getting vaccinated, staying home when they’re sick, and following the public health guidelines.

Quana.

 

 

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: January 11, 2022

Total Tests Total confirmed cases Total active cases Total recovered cases Deaths Total persons vaccinated with at least one dose in Nunavut Total persons vaccinated with two doses in Nunavut
27,061 1031 192 835 4 31,227 24,998

COVID-19 community case statistics: January 11, 2022

Community

COVID-19 status

Time period

Public case count yesterday (TOTAL)

Public case count today (TOTAL) Change from yesterday (cases) Cumulative Recovered Change from yesterday (recoveries) Total Active Cases
Coral Harbour Ongoing Since 9 Jan 2022 6 8 2 0 0 8
Whale Cove Ongoing Since 7 Jan 2022 7 7 0 0 0 7
Sanikiluaq Ongoing Since 4 Jan 2022 1 1 0 0 0 1
Kinngait Ongoing Since 01/02/2022 23 23 0 1 0 22
Pond Inlet Ongoing Since 01/01/2022 1 1 0 0 0 1
Chesterfield Inlet Ongoing Since 01/01/2022 4 4 0 0 0 4
Cambridge Bay Ongoing Since 12/30/2021 18 18 0 2 1 16
Igloolik Ongoing

Since 12/29/2021

18 18 02 1 0 2
Baker Lake Ongoing Since 12/29/2021 1 1 0 1 0 0

Arviat

Ongoing Since 12/29/2021 64 64 0 43 7 21
Sanirajak Ongoing

Since 12/29/2021

17 17 0 9 0 8
Qikiqtarjuaq Ongoing

Since 12/28/2021

7 7 0 3 0 4
Rankin Inlet Ongoing

Since 12/23/2021

64 67 3 32 11 35
Pangnirtung Ongoing

Since 12/23/2021

26 26 0 18 0 8
Iqaluit Ongoing Since 11/04/2021 95 95 0 40 7 55
TOTAL      352 357 5 165 26 192

COVID-19 vaccination stats: January 10, 2022

Details/Limitations:

This information shows the number of doses given in a community as of January 11, 2022. The percentage of vaccine administered is vaccine administered divided by the Nunavut population estimate for 18 and older.

Territorial totals for doses are an accurate summary. The community level data is under review to ensure appropriate attribution. Community totals will be adjusted as needed.  This may lead to minor fluctuations in the percentages by community.

Doses are typically attributed to the community in which they are administered.

Total doses given will include residents and non-residents, including rotational workers.

Multiple communities represent individuals who received doses in two separate communities, or in communities that are not their place of residence.

An individual may have received dose 1 and/or dose 2 outside of their community of residence.

This does not account for people who may have been vaccinated partially or fully out of territory.

A high percentage in one community does not equal herd immunity. There is no established or defined percentage of what herd immunity is for COVID-19. Whatever herd immunity may be it cannot achieved with current vaccine approvals (e.g. no vaccine available for children under twelve).

Source:

Statistics Canada, Demography Division, Special tabulations. Prepared by: Nunavut Bureau of Statistics, January 27, 2021.

Dose numbers are from the Department of Health's Meditech system.

Eligible adults in community are defined as the number of individuals 18 and older as per the 2020 population estimates.

The community population estimates are "non-official" since they are not based on components of population growth (births, deaths and migration). They should be used with caution.

 

Testing stats to date per community: January 11, 2022

Community

Tests done

Tests Positive Tests Negative
Coral Harbour (Since 9 Jan 2022) 42 8 34
Whale Cove ( Since 7 Jan 2022) 18 7 11
Sanikiluaq (Since 4 Jan 2022) 12 1 11
Kinngait (Since 2 January 2022) 70 23 47
Pond Inlet (Since 1 January 2022) 42 1 41
Chesterfield Inlet (Since 1 January 2022) 34 4 30
Cambridge bay (Since 30 December 2021) 107 18 89
Igloolik (Since 29 December) 172 18 154
Baker Lake (Since 29 December) 44 1 43
Arviat (Since 29 December) 247 64 183
Sanirajak (Since 29 December) 122 17 105
Qikiqtarjuaq (Since 28 December) 89 7 82
Rankin Inlet (Since 23 December) 609 68 541
Pangnirtung (Since 23 December 2021) 387 26 361
Iqaluit (Since 23 December 2021) 1283 95 1188

*Please note: These numbers change frequently. Every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date and complete, but it may not reflect all persons followed or tested.

** Confirmed cases include those meeting the national case definitions.

***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.

Isolation population: 

Traveler Type Guests in Isolation as of January 10
Medical 25
Public  7
EMTI 4
Construction 0
Total 36

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date # of Travellers from Health Isolation Sites
Jan. 11, 2022 3
Jan. 12, 2022 2
Jan. 13, 2022 0
Jan. 14, 2022 3
Jan. 15, 2022 0
Total 7

 

 

Nunavut Arctic College

The following programs term starts January 10, 2022 (remote learning)*:

  • Bachelor of Social Work Program.
  • Bachelor of Science (Arctic Nursing) (Years 1 – 4 in Iqaluit).
  • College Foundation (Gjoa Haven & Kugaaruk).
  • Pre- Health (Rankin Inlet & Iqaluit).
  • Office Administration (Iqaluit and Sanikiluaq only).

The following programs term starts January 17, 2022, (remote start)*:

  • Environment Technology Program (year 1 & 2, Iqaluit).
  • Nunavut Teacher Education Program (Years 1-4, all communities: Arviat (year 1 &4), Baker Lake, Cambridge Bay, Coral Harbour, Gjoa Haven, Igloolik, Iqaluit, Naujaat, Pangnirtung & Rankin Inlet)**.
  • Social Service Worker Program.
  • Management Studies (Year 1 & 2, Rankin Inlet)*.
  • Office Admin (Arviat).
  • College Foundation (Coral Harbour).

The following programs term starts January 17, 2022 (in person classes only):

These programs are currently not structured for remote learning; therefore, their start dates are dependent on public health measures. Students of these programs should be prepared for further delays, pending COVID-19 cases in the territory and/or their specific community.

  • Interpreter/Translator (Years 1 & 2, Post diploma certificate, Iqaluit).
  • Inuit Studies (Years 1 & 2, Iqaluit).
  • Fur Design (Year 1, Iqaluit).
  • Jewellery and Metalwork (Year 1, Iqaluit).
  • Adult Basis Education & Adult Basic Education: Essential Skills (where offered in Community Learning Centers).
  • Office Administration (Kinngait).
  • Pre-Trades - Clyde River & Igloolik.

To be determined (in person classes only):

  • Construction Trades.
    • Sanatuliqsarvik is working closely with the department of Family Services to finalize a revised program schedule for the planned Apprenticeship delivery (Oil Heater System Technician & Housing Maintainer) and the Skilled Trades Worker Diploma Program. Once finalized, students will be informed of the revised schedule.
  • Piqqusilirivvik.
    • Piqqusilirivvik’s winter term was scheduled to begin on February 1, with travel organized by Piqqusilirivvik around January 17th.  Given the land-based, elder taught, delivery of this program, the start date will be determined by future public health orders, specifically travel restrictions.

* Program is working to secure IT supports for students of its first year programs.

** Schedule will be confirmed by NTEP staff. NTEP staff will dedicate the beginning of this week to familiarize themselves with NAC/MUNL online management system.

 

 

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.