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COVID-19 GN Update - March 20, 2020

20 March 2020

COVID-19 GN Update

Premier’s update:

As of today, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in the territory. The public health communicable disease team is following approximately 79 persons under investigation. 29 people who were previously under investigation have been cleared and no longer need isolation.

Work from home for non-essential Government of Nunavut (GN) staff starts today. Our government will continue to deliver important services to Nunavummiut. We are still working on how staff work from home, but we are resourceful, and are used to adapting our systems.

The GN is working on options to keep food banks/ soup kitchens open territory-wide.

Several departments are working closely together to reduce the impact the school closures have on breakfast and lunch programs. We hope to have more information on this initiative to share soon.

As of today, all bars will be closed. And all restaurants will remain open only for take-out/delivery. Please remember to make sure there are a maximum of 10 people for line-ups. Pharmacies, gas stations, and grocery stores will remain open.

Effective immediately, and until further notice:

All Nunavut Arctic College Community Learning Centres and Campuses are closed.

  • The Nunavut Research Institute is suspending all research.
  • Specifically, for NAC nursing students: the clinical practicum and clinical placements have been canceled. Students in clinical placements in communities are scheduled to fly back to Iqaluit this week. 
  • As of Monday, March 23 the Court House in Iqaluit will be closed to the public.

A reminder that anyone who travelled into Nunavut on or since Sunday, March 15, needs to self-isolate for 14 days and contact their health centre if they develop symptoms.

Updates on our departmental services and program delivery are available online.

Social distancing is so important. Please everyone, do your part to maintain a safe distance of two metres. Don’t hug, shake hands or kunik. This will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep us all healthy. Do it for yourself, your families, your communities and friends, our Elders, and those with weaker immune systems.

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

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.

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.
  • In Iqaluit: public health, the emergency room and the inpatient unit will all 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.

Adjusted services:

  • 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.
  • Lab and Diagnostic Imaging services at QGH are on reduced services. All upcoming appointments are being triaged.
  • 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.

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.


Nunavut Arctic College

The College, with support from the Board of Governors and the Minister responsible for NAC, has decided to suspend classes at this time for the timeframe that coincides with the school closures.

NAC along with its University partners will explore ways for students to successfully complete their studies.

NAC is coordinating with Family Services and Kakivak Association to provide information to students regarding home travel. Family Services will send an update.

Any licensed researcher already in Nunavut who arrived after Sunday March 15 is directed to self-isolate for 14 days to protect the health and safety of Nunavut residents. 

Ongoing services:

  • Support services will continue for students at this time.
  • NAC residences in Iqaluit and Cambridge Bay and Family Residences in Rankin Inlet remain open.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • NAC single unit residences in Rankin Inlet are temporarily closed.
  • Temporary closure of Piqqusilirivvik Cultural School in Clyde River. Students are being flown to their home communities as soon as the weather clears.
  • The clinical practicum and clinical placements for nursing students are suspended. Students in clinical placements in other communities are scheduled to fly back to Iqaluit this week.
  • All campuses and Community Learning Centres are closed to the public, to faculty and to Students.
  • The Nunavut Research Institute is temporarily suspending their research support services. 
  • Until further notice, NRI will not be able to provide trichinella detection services. 
  • Public access to the NRI's research facilities in Iqaluit, Arviat, Igloolik, Rankin Inlet, and Cambridge Bay will be restricted.   
  • Any researchers who intend to visit Nunavut in 2020 are advised to postpone travel until after the Nunavut Government and individual Nunavut municipalities have lifted their current restrictions on non-essential travel to Nunavut. 


Department of Justice Services

Should you have any inquires regarding any court matters, we invite you to contact the Registrar either by phone or email.

Adjusted services:

  • As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Court house will be closed to the public.
  • As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Legal Registries office will be closed to the public.
  • Individuals can still access services by contacting 867 975-6590 or emailing
  • Family Support services are ongoing. The office will be closed to the public. For information regarding your personal information, please contact the office by phone at 867-975-6112 or via email at
  • 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;
    • If your matter involves civil, family or children law proceedings please contact the Civil Registrar 867 975-6102;
    • If your matter involves civil enforcement, please contact the sheriff office at 867 975-6103;


Department of Family Services

Adjusted services:

  • Community Social Service Workers (CSSW) are on “Emergency on call” at this time. Anyone needing to speak with a CSSW should use the after hours contact number for their community.
  • Family Services are requesting that all Income Assistance, Career Development and Family Wellness clients refrain from dropping into our offices without appointments.
    • All clients should call and set an appointment time and date in order to limit large gatherings in our waiting areas.
  • Income Support clients who are the Head of household are encouraged to come alone to their appointments, we are asking that you not bring anyone else (spouse or children).
    • Any client who is sick or out of town (i.e. on medical leave or currently undergoing treatment) should call their Income Assistance Worker so that the worker can make arrangements to bring your cheque to the store(s) or to have a family member pick it up.


Department of Education Services

Adjusted services:

  • To reinforce social distancing and reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19, the Department of Education is limiting in-office work to essential employees only.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • All schools and child care facilities in Nunavut are closed for a three-week period, starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020.


Department of Economic Development and Transportation

Adjusted services:

  • Emergency requests for Motor Vehicles license and registration services will be processed electronically. Contact or 1-888-975-5999.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • Normal Motor Vehicles licence and registration services will be suspended effective March 23.


Qulliq Energy Corporation

QEC continues to deliver safe and reliable power to Nunavummiut and provide customers and employees with regular updates.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • Customer Care offices will be closed until further notice. For billing and payment options please visit the QEC website.



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.