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COVID-19 GN Update - July 6, 2020

06 July 2020

Minister of Health on behalf of the Premier, update:

Good morning. There is still one presumptive case of COVID-19 in Nunavut, at the Mary River Mine. Again, I want to stress how isolated this case is, and that Nunavummiut do not need to worry about the spread in this instance.

The total number of people followed to date is 1,467. 157 people are currently under investigation.

Nunavut Day is on Thursday, and while we won’t have community-wide celebrations like we usually do, I hope you’re still able to celebrate our incredible territory safely with friends and family.

We’ve come a long way over the last 21 years, so let’s enjoy the day and let’s keep working hard for each other, our communities and the future of our territory. Happy Nunavut Day!

 

Chief Public Health Officer Update

Good morning. We are still waiting on confirmatory results for the presumptive case detected in the Mary River Mine, with the expectation that they will be ready sometime this week. The Department of Health continues to monitor the situation at the Mary River Mine site closely, and we will provide support as needed.

I want to take this opportunity and remind Nunavummiut that:

Testing is only one component of the Public Health response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Testing is important, but it is not a replacement for social distancing or hand-washing.

Testing is important, but it is absolutely not a replacement for 14 days of isolation.

The Government of Nunavut follows testing guidelines and best practices that have been endorsed by the World Health Organization and Health Canada. We rely on diagnostic devices that have undergone rigorous validation and accreditation processes to provide dependable testing to Nunavummiut.

Even under ideal conditions, and with validated equipment, testing is not always a reliable method of identifying cases of COVID-19 and halting transmission. There is strong evidence that false negatives can occur throughout the incubation period.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the overarching goal of our public health response is to identify, contain and break transmission.

The Government of Nunavut will continue to look at emerging evidence and best practices set out by public health authorities, both nationally and globally, to shape our response to COVID-19, and will alter public health measures as and when appropriate.

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

COVID Hotline and Self-Assessment Tool

Anyone who has reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 is advised to call the COVID-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., or notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days.

Anyone with access to internet can also take the online self-assessment tool nu.thrive.health

Isolation sites concern inbox

A new email address has been established to better address concerns and comments from clients completing 14-day isolation in the Isolation Sites in Southern Canada. The new email will take pressure off the COVID toll free line, patient relations and the CPHOtravelrequests inbox. The new email address is isolationrelations@gov.nu.ca.

Volumes

Total (All Isolation Locations)

Traveler Type

Guests in Isolation as of July 3

Medical Travel

224

Public

229

Students

0

Total

453


Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date

# of Travellers from Isolation Sites

July 4

3

July 5

15

July 6

76

July 7

29

July 8

30


 

Critical Worker Requests

As of July 4, there are 2215 requests, 1508 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status

#

%

Approved (includes critical and non-critical)

1874

84.6%

Denied

197

8.9%

Pending

37

1.7%

Bubble Approved

107

4,8%

Total

1291

100%


Ongoing services:

Access to health care services will remain available in all communities 7 days a week. All non-urgent requests will be triaged daily. Immediate access to urgent and emergent health care services are and will continue to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All clients are asked to call before presenting at a health facility.

Beginning June 8, there will be an increased availability of in-person health assessments at health centres across the territory.

In Iqaluit, public health, the emergency room and inpatient unit will remain open.

Well baby clinics, prenatal visits and immunizations are continuing across Nunavut.

Physicians will continue community visits. If this is not possible, the visits will be conducted by telehealth or by phone.

Lab and Diagnostic Imaging services at QGH have resumed regular services

Adjusted services:

Appointments at health facilities are being triaged, this means the appointment may be over the phone or in person.

Medical travel services have been reduced to urgent medical travel only. Clients will be advised of these changes and involved in discussions.

In Iqaluit, outpatient clinics and rehab are triaging all appointments and conducting appointments. All upcoming appointments are being triaged.

The inpatient ward at QGH is allowing limited visitors to the inpatient ward following a questionnaire.

MHA has moved to telephone check in and support for some clients. Scheduled appointments for medication pick up and administration remain the same. If you are in crisis, present to the health centre. Home visits to administer medications will be treated on a case by case basis.

Beginning June 15, normal dental services are permitted to resume, though this service may not be available in all communities immediately. For communities where normal service resumption is delayed, emergency services are still available.

Beginning June 29, Nunavut – Continuing Care Centres (CCCs) and Elders’ Homes will accept visitors on a limited basis. Each resident or inpatient may have no more than two visitors at once, and visitors shall be restricted to immediate family members only (which includes grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

Speciality clinics have been cancelled. Work is underway to determine which clients can be seen by phone/virtual care.

All non-essential travel for mental health clients and families are cancelled. All non-essential travel for families visiting clients in care is cancelled.

 

Department of Community and Government Services

Requests to enter the territory for construction related projects or to travel within the territory for construction related projects can be emailed to CPHOconstructionrequests@gov.nu.ca

Construction workers who completed isolation to date: 495

Construction workers who completed isolation June 29 - July 5, 2020

Departure Date

Number

Destination

29/Jun/20

9

Iqaluit

29/Jun/20

7

Cape Dorset

29/Jun/20

10

Pond Inlet

29/Jun/20

2

Rankin Inlet

29/Jun/20

1

Cambridge Bay

29/Jun/20

3

Hall Beach

29/Jun/20

6

Iqaluit

29/Jun/20

10

Igloolik

29/Jun/20

5

Resolute Bay

30/Jun/20

6

Gjoa Haven

30/Jun/20

4

Cambridge Bay

1/Jul/20

5

Iqaluit

1/Jul/20

1

Baker lake

1/Jul/20

1

Resolute Bay

1/Jul/20

4

Cape Dorset

2/Jul/20

1

Iqaluit

2/Jul/20

3

Cape Dorset

2/Jul/20

1

Iqaluit

5/Jul/20

6

Iqaluit

5/Jul/20

1

Resolute Bay


GN office buildings in all communities remain closed to the public at this time. If a member of the public needs to meet with GN staff, alternate arrangements need to be made. Please call ahead of time and make an appointment.

 

Department of Education Services

Since March 17, when schools were closed to students, the Department of Education has been working diligently in preparation for the upcoming 2020-21 school year, specifically addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information on plans and guidelines for opening schools will be made available to the public as they are finalized. These will include detailed guidelines on health and safety, as well as recovery learning and assessment, and student and staff wellbeing.

The Department of Education will be releasing the first document of its school opening plan later this month, after it has been reviewed by the Chief Public Health Officer and the department has heard from education stakeholders.

Keeping our staff and students safe is the Department of Education’s highest priority. By working closely with the Chief Public Health Officer, and providing clear guidelines around health and safety, the Department of Education can ensure that our students are learning in a safe, supportive environment.

 

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.