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COVID-19 GN Update - March 26, 2020
There are still no known confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in the territory.
There are some terms being used that we probably hadn’t heard up until a few weeks ago. Seeing as there are no major updates for today, I want to take the time to help explain them:
Self-monitoring means paying attention to your own health and calling your local health centre if you notice any changes or symptoms like coughing, fever, or difficulty breathing.
Self-isolation means staying at home, and away from others in your home for 14 days. A reminder that everyone who has travelled into Nunavut since March 15 needs to self-isolate for the full 14 days.
Social distancing and physical distancing mean that you keep a safe distance from others. The rule is that two metres or six feet between yourself and anyone else. It’s a great practice and rule for limiting the spread of COVID-19.
I again want to ask parents and adults to take the time to talk to kids about social distancing and why it’s so important.
Social and physical distancing is now the new normal. Even if someone has finished self-isolating for 14 days.
Everyone needs to practice this, all of the time. It’s not very fun, we all know this. But it’s really important for the well-being of all Nunavummiut. And it only works if we all do it.
Social distancing is our best defensive against COVID-19.
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
The CPHO travel orders and the travel/critical worker protocol have now been posted to: https://www.gov.nu.ca/health/information/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
All travellers will be required to 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 and are asked to email CPHOTravelRequests@gov.nu.ca.
Toll free number for anyone that has recently travelled or has COVID-19 symptoms: 1-888-975-8601 is being answered from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- 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.
- 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. Lab and Diagnostic Imaging services at QGH are on reduced services. All upcoming appointments are being triaged.
- 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.
- 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 is cancelled. All non-essential travel for families visiting clients in care is cancelled.
Department of Justice Services
The department will continue to develop education and training opportunities that support Inuit employment within justice services.
Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:
- Given the current situation, the department, in consultation with Algonquin College, has officially cancelled the Program for Inuit Correctional Caseworkers which was set to begin on campus in Ottawa on May 4, 2020.
Department of Environment Services
As of March 26, community harvest support contributions for 21 communities have been processed, and payment will be made on March 27. Those recipients with email transfer capacity will receive the payments immediately. The remainder will have a cheque mailed to them, which will cause some delay in them receiving the funds.
Nunavummiut’s health is our shared responsibility! Remember: wash your hands and surfaces, practise social distancing, listen to the advice of health officials, and stay home if you’re sick.