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COVID-19 GN Update - March 24, 2020

24 March 2020

Premier’s update:

There are still no known confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

Starting at 11:59 p.m. tonight strict travel restrictions to Nunavut will be in place.

Nunavut residents who want to return to Nunavut must enter a mandatory 14-day isolation period at one of four locations in southern Canada. Please contact CPHOTravelRequests@gov.nu.ca for direction.

Critical employees who need to return to work in Nunavut must apply for an exemption approved by the Chief Public Health Officer. For information on the process, please contact CPHOTravelRequests@gov.nu.ca for direction.

Nunavut students studying outside of the territory who want to return home during the travel ban must undergo a 14-day isolation period at one of two locations in southern Canada. Please contact fans@gov.nu.ca for direction if you haven’t made arrangements already.

All non-essential medical travel has been cancelled. Clients will be advised of these changes.

Again – absolutely everyone who arrived into the territory on or since March 15 needs to self-isolate. This is not a suggestion. It is mandatory.

The BEST medicine right now is to listen to the advice of health officials, wash your hands and surfaces, avoid close contact with other people. Social distancing and staying home as much as possible is not a recommendation.

Be responsible with your health and others: staying home will save lives.

 

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

Effective March 25, 2020, all travellers will be required to self-isolate at designated facilities outside of Nunavut for a period of 14 days, except for critical employees who are asymptomatic. Those returning to Nunavut will require approval from the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer.

Information on Residents and Critical Workers Travel

  • Nunavummiut who want to return to Nunavut during the travel ban must enter a mandatory 14-day isolation period at one of four locations in southern Canada. Please contact CPHOTravelRequests@gov.nu.ca  for direction.
  • Critical employees who must return to work in Nunavut during the travel ban must apply for an exemption approved by the Chief Public Health Officer. For information on the process, please contact CPHOTravelRequests@gov.nu.ca  for direction.
  • Need to talk to someone if you have COVID-19 symptoms, or have recently travelled to or from an affected area? Please call 975-8601 or 1-888-975-8601 from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.to speak with someone. Please remember this line is for those who need it – and should not be used for general inquiries!
  • The information on the toll free number, the CPHO orders and the travel/critical worker protocol has now been posted to: https://www.gov.nu.ca/health/information/covid-19-novel-coronavirus 
  • Nunavummiut must call first before going to Qikiqtani General Hospital, Iqaluit Public Health or any Nunavut Health Centre. Find phone numbers for all health facilities at https://gov.nu.ca/health/information/health-centres

Ongoing services:

  • Mental Health and Addictions 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.
  • 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 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.

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:

  • The Wednesday evening clinics at QGH have been suspended until further notice
  • Speciality clinics have been cancelled. Work is underway to determine which clients can be seen by phone/virtual care.
  • Qikiqtani General Hospital cafeteria is closed to the public.
  • 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 Family Services

  • Nunavut students who want to return to Nunavut during the travel ban must undergo a 14-day isolation period at one of two locations in southern Canada. Please contact fans@gov.nu.ca for direction.

 

Department of Education Services

  • The Department of Education is supporting the Department of Family Services in coordinating the return of out of territory FANS students and their families to Nunavut.
  • The Department of Education is providing funds to licensed child care facilities to cover parental fees from March 17-April 7, 2020.
  • All licensed child care facilities in Nunavut that charge parental fees will qualify for the grant.
  • Funding will be processed and sent to licensed child care facilities by Friday, March 27, 2020.
  • During this time, parents will not be required to pay parental fees.

 

Department of Economic Development and Transportation Services

Ongoing services:

  • Airport operations and maintenance.

Adjusted services:

  • All other departmental services are transitioning to work-from-home, with Directors and other essential staff in-office.
  • Motor Vehicles Registrations and most Licence renewal are still being done.
  • General Identification can be provided on an urgent basis only.
  • No new Driver’s Licences can be processed until further notice.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • All non-urgent Motor Vehicles Services including Driver Exams, All Visitors Center Programing, All departmentally hosted conference and in person training.
  • For urgent requests, contact your local Motor Vehicles office, EDT@gov.nu.ca, of 1-888-975-5999.

 

Department of Community and Government Services

  • Effective today, all GN office buildings will be locked at all times.  Any members of the public who require to meet in person with any GN essential services staff who are present in a GN office building will need to contact that individual directly and make suitable arrangements. 

 

Department of Environment Services

  • The Contribution Agreements for Community Harvester support program were sent out on March 23. 

 

Qulliq Energy Corporation Services (QEC)

Ongoing services:

  • QEC Power related emergency services will continue to be fully staffed (including power restoration). 
  • QEC will continue to deliver safe and reliable power to Nunavummiut and provide customers and employees with regular updates.

Adjusted services:

  • QEC continues to provide Customer Care phone support and service on an ongoing basis.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • QEC Offices are now closed

 

Nunavut Arctic College (NAC) Services

  • Nunavut Arctic College is working with Departments and Agencies on the repatriation of students in and outside of the territory and to provide support and services to the students and their families whether they are travelling or not.
  • Programs continue to be suspended, not CANCELLED, as NAC looks to explore options with our academic partners to get to successful program completions.
  • NAC is committed to delivering quality programs to Nunavummiut. We take the health and safety of our students and staff seriously.
  • The Nunavut Arctic College continues to monitor the situation and will provide information to affected students as it comes available.
  • College students have the option of remaining in their student accommodation if they/their family choose to. In cases such as this, the College will continue to ensure appropriate supports are provided to them.

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.