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COVID-19 GN Update - January 5, 2021

05 January 2021

COVID-19 GN Update - January 5, 2021

Premier’s update:

Good morning. I hope everyone had a restful and safe break.

Today, there are no new cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut, which means we remain at zero active cases. The total number of persons followed to date is 5738. There are 431 persons currently being followed. 265 Nunavummiut have recovered from the virus.

I am very sad to report that five Nunavummiut have passed away due to COVID-19. Four of these individuals contracted the virus in Southern Canada, and it’s likely their deaths will be reported in those jurisdictions.

On behalf of the Government of Nunavut, I send our deepest sympathies and strength to their families, friends and communities. This virus is heartbreaking and determined - it doesn’t care who you are or what you do. This is why we ask everyone to follow the public health measures all the time. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Keep physical distance. Stay home if you feel at all unwell. Keep yourselves and everyone around you safe.

In just a few moments, Dr. Patterson will lay out Nunavut’s vaccination roll-out plan. I ask for your patience as we work toward vaccinating as many people as possible. There are a lot of logistics involved, and we need to wait on enough of the vaccine to get to all our adult community members.

Please remember the vaccine isn’t mandatory, but it is safe and effective, and it’s our best defense against COVID-19. It is in your best interest to take it for yourself and those who can’t. This is about community and everyone’s shared health.

Happy New Year; let’s make 2021 a great one. Nunavut, you’ve done an outstanding job fighting COVID-19 so far, but the outbreak is far from over. Let’s continue to work together to keep our territory healthy and safe.


Chief Public Health Officer Update:

Good morning,

Last week, Nunavut received its first vaccine shipments. On December 30, 3000 doses of the Moderna vaccine were shipped to Iqaluit and another 3000 to Rankin Inlet.  This is a major milestone along Nunavut's Path and one that we are excited about. Immunization is voluntary, but I do encourage as many eligible Nunavummiut as possible take the vaccine. It is currently the best protection Nunavummiut can have against COVID-19. 

The Moderna vaccine requires two doses be administered between 28 and 30 days apart. The initial 6000 doses of the vaccine will allow us to begin immunization of 3,000 Nunavummiut. This will ensure that the necessary doses are available if the second shipment of vaccine expected later this month, is delayed. 

Our roll-out strategy combines focused vaccinations and community-wide clinics.  Focused vaccinations will have nurses go into Elders facilities to provide the immunizations, while community clinics will be held as either walk-in clinics or by appointment depending on the community. Front line staff working in Elders facilities will also receive the vaccine. Nurses from the health centre with assistance from a team of contract nurses will administer the vaccinations. 

Immunizations will begin this week at the Elders' facility in Iqaluit, on January 6. 

The week of January 11, appointment-based community-wide immunization clinics and focused vaccinations in Elders facilities will start in Gjoa Haven, Igloolik, Arviat and Cambridge Bay. Gjoa Haven and Igloolik are scheduled for January 11 and 12. Arviat is scheduled for January 14 to 18 excluding Sunday. Cambridge Bay will be January 14 to 16 inclusively. Residents in those communities are asked to call their respective health centre to book an appointment.

Arviat's timing is because the nurses who conduct the clinics there may have to isolate for 14 days after they leave due to the outbreak of COVID-19. 

Community-wide clinics will for the most part be held at facilities such as school gymnasiums and community halls, with protocols to ensure physical distancing, proper use of masks and other PPE and enhanced cleaning protocols. Health staff have engaged with community partners in Gjoa Haven, Igloolik, Arviat and Cambridge Bay to ensure the protocols are implemented. 

Additional clinics will be held based on the number of doses we will receive from future federal government shipments and on the number of remaining doses from previous clinics. Nunavut should receive enough vaccines between now and the end of march to vaccinate 75% of the adult population, approximately 19,000 people. 

I know there have been concerns raised about the vaccine, but I assure everyone it is safe. mRNA vaccines, such as Moderna, have been under development for more than 20 years. The clinical trials for Moderna alone had 30,000 participants from a broad range of population types, including Elders and those with underlying health conditions. It cannot give you COVID-19 and the side-affects are what you would expect from any other vaccine. If you are unsure if you should take the vaccine, please reach out to the health centre for guidance. 

The vaccine is 94% effective at preventing COVID-19 or preventing serious infection due to COVID-19. 

Currently, the Moderna vaccine is not approved for anyone under the age of 18 but clinical trials are underway.  We will keep Nunavummiut informed of any new vaccine developments in the coming weeks and months.  For more information regarding vaccines and upcoming clinics, go to the Government of Nunavut website and visit the health department’s COVID-19 vaccination page. For general vaccine information, Nunavummiut can also contact the COVID-19 hotline and select the option to speak to a nurse. 

I would also like to speak to the progress the territory has made in the past weeks to stop the spread of COVID-19. As of December 30, the outbreak in Rankin Inlet is over and restrictions in that community have eased. While the outbreaks in both Whale Cove and Arviat are still active, we currently have no active cases. I encourage Nunavummiut to continue following the public health orders to help us keep the numbers trending in the right direction.  

Finally, I want to recognize all the people in the Government of Nunavut who spent the time over the Holiday Closure working to ensure the safe delivery and storage of the vaccine, organizing clinics, managing the ongoing outbreaks and making sure everyone stayed informed. 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:

Upcoming Community Vaccine Clinics

Elders’ Facility clinics in communities will be focused clinics with health staff going on site to administer the vaccine. Health staff will reach out to the Elder’s facilities directly for the vaccination times and dates.

Iqaluit Elder’s Home

  • Location: Elders Home.
  • Date (1st Dose): January 6.
  • Date (2nd Dose): February 3.

Igloolik mass clinic

  • Location:  Igloolik High School.
  • Date (1st Dose): January 11 and 12. 
  • Date (2nd Dose) February 8–9. 
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Clinic Type: by appointment.
  • Call 867-934-2100.

Gjoa Haven mass clinic

  • Location: Qiqirtaq High School. 
  • Date (1st Dose): January 11 and 12.
  • Date (2nd Dose) February 8–9.
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Clinic Type: by appointment.
  • Call 867-360-7441.

Arviat mass clinic

  • Location: Qitiqliq School.
  • Date (1st Dose): January 14 to 18 (excluding Sunday). 
  • Date (2nd dose) February 11-15.
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Clinic Type: by appointment.
  • Call 867-850-3100.

Cambridge Bay mass clinic

  • Location:  site to be determined
  • Date (1st Dose): January 14 to 16 (inclusive).
  • Date (2nd Dose): February 11-13.
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Clinic Type: by appointment.
  • Call 867-983-4500.


COVID-19 case status: Jan. 5

Total confirmed cases Total active cases Total recovered cases Deaths Total persons followed Current persons followed
266 0 265 1 5738 431

COVID-19 community case statistics: Jan. 5

Community Confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday Confirmed COVID-19 cases today Change in case count +/- from previous day Deaths Recovered Cases Total active cases
Arviat 222 222 0 1 221 0
Whale Cove 23 23 0 0 23 0
Rankin Inlet 19 19 0 0 19 0
Sanikiluaq 2 2 0 0 2 0
TOTAL  266 266 0 1 265 0

Testing stats to date per community: Jan. 5

Community Tests Positive Tests Negative
Arviat 222 1450
Whale Cove 23 266
Rankin Inlet 19 390
Sanikiluaq 2 202
TOTAL  266 2308

Isolation population: 

Traveler Type Guests in Isolation as of Jan. 04
Medical 157
Public  281
Total 481

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date # of Travellers from Health Isolation Sites
Jan 05 2021 12
Jan 06 2021 39
Jan 07 2021 54
Jan 08 2021 10
Jan 09 2021 3
Total 118

Critical Worker Requests:

As of Jan.5 there were 10623 requests, 5075 of which were critical worker requests.

Request Status # %
Approved (includes critical and non-critical) 7138 67.0%
Denied 294 2.8%
Pending 294 2.8%
Common Travel Area 2896 30%
Total 10622 100%


Department of Education Services

K-12 Schools

As of Monday, January 4, 2021, schools in the communities listed below will move to the following stages:

  • Whale Cove – Stage 4.
  • Rankin Inlet – Stage 2.

Arviat schools continue to be at Stage 4. All other Nunavut schools are at Stage 2.

Updates on community stages can be found on the Department of Education website:

Stage 4 – Whale Cove

  • As of Monday, January 4, 2021, Inuglak School in Whale Cove will be implementing its Stage 4 action plan.
  • Inuglak School in Whale Cove will remain closed until further notice from the Chief Public Health Officer.
  • All instruction in Whale Cove will be conducted remotely.
  • Teachers and school staff will be contacting their students and families on a regular basis.

Stage 2 – Rankin Inlet

  • As of Monday, January 4, 2021, elementary schools in Rankin Inlet will be open full-time, five days per week.
  • As of Monday, January 4, 2021, middle and high schools in Rankin Inlet will have a blend of in-school and remote learning. Students will attend school 2-3 days per week. Specific schedules will be determined by each school’s Stage 2 action plan.

Early Learning and Child Care

  • The child care facilities in Whale Cove and in Arviat have been recommended to remain closed by the Chief Public Health Officer.
  • According to the Chief Public Health Officer, child care facilities in all Nunavut communities, except Whale Cove and Arviat, can open under current health and safety guidelines and measures.



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.