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COVID-19 GN Update - March 30, 2020
There are still no confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.
The total number of people under investigation to date is 259. 180 people are currently under investigation; 79 people are no longer under investigation.
This is a reminder that any person under investigation is in mandatory self-isolation. If any one of these people is found to be breaking their mandatory self-isolation and putting community members in danger of transmission of COVID-19, they could face serious consequences: a fine of up to $50,000 or up to six months in jail. Just stay home. Keep your community and Nunavummiut safe.
There are a lot of people in isolation in the south who are having difficulty with their current situation. We hear you, and we are trying to make positive changes. This situation has not been smooth, but pulling all this together so quickly is not easy. We had to plan and implement this very quickly when we decided to restrict travel into Nunavut for everyone’s safety.
Safety is our number one priority, but we ask for patience as we sort all this out. There is no excuse for cruel or violent behaviour during this time. We are all experiencing change and some hard realities, but we need to remind ourselves that this is for the greater good of all Nunavummiut.
I appreciate that it’s hard for many people, but COVID-19 is truly a life and death situation, and we aren’t willing to take any chances. Thank you to the people isolating in the south for the well-being and health of everyone here at home.
For some people who travelled into the territory before the travel restrictions were implemented, their self-isolation period has or is coming to an end. Remember that coming out of self-isolation does not mean that you do not have to practise physical/social distancing and staying at home as much as possible. The rule is basically this – if you don’t live with that person, you should not visit or see them.
We must all practise physical and social distancing all of the time for the foreseeable future. Wash your hands for 20 seconds – often. Please don’t touch your face. All these measures are in place for our safety. If nothing happens during this time, that’s exactly the point.
Thank you to all Nunavummiut, to all our essential workers, and to everyone across the territory keeping our programs and services going. You are appreciated and we are grateful.
We’re all in this together, and we all need to do our part.
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
All individuals identified as persons under investigation for COVID-19 (PUIs), are subject to a mandatory isolation order and will be fined should the mandatory isolation be broken. Fines can go up to $50,000 or up to six months in jail.
The CPHO travel orders and the travel/critical worker protocol can be found on: 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.
Nunavummiut returning to Nunavut by way of land travel to Sanikiluaq, Arviat, and the Kitikmeot region are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days once they return to the territory.
Toll-free number for anyone who 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.
Individuals who are self-isolating are required to stay at home, avoid contact with other people, and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after returning.
Department of Family Services
Out-of-territory students wishing to return to their home communities in Nunavut have started their 14-day isolation period in Ottawa (31 students) and Winnipeg (15 students).
- Student funding: all student funding will be extended to the end of April.
Charter to Kitikmeot communities left Iqaluit on Saturday for all in-territory students. The charter landed in every community intended. Any students who have not previously identified the need to return home and require to, will now have to go through regularly scheduled flights with all existing restrictions or processes, e.g. 14 days isolation through Yellowknife if there is no immediately connecting flight.
Department of Environment Services
The community harvest support contribution agreements have all been processed and payments are issued.
- All planned wildlife research projects have been put on hold, and the associated air charters have been cancelled. All biologists are working from home and are focusing on analysing previously collected data and finalizing outstanding research reports.
Department of Community and Government services
- All GN office buildings continue to be closed to the public. If a member of the public needs to meet with GN essential services staff, alternate arrangements need to be made.
- CGS Infrastructure Branch continues to provide essential services in the areas of Safety Services (Nunavut Fire Marshal’s Office, Chief Building Official, Chief Electrical Inspector, Chief Boiler/Gas Inspector and Chief Elevator Inspector) and staff are readily accessible.
- Nunavut Fire Marshal’s Office: Fire Marshal Ted Clouter – 867-222-0132 - TClouter@GOV.NU.CA
- Office of the Chief Building Official: Chief Building Official Brian Wood – 867-222-3230 - BWood@GOV.NU.CA
- Office of the Chief Electrical Inspector: TBC
- Chief Electrical Inspector: Jonathan Potts – 867-222-2889 - JPotts@GOV.NU.CA
- Office of the Chief Boiler & Gas Inspector: Please contact CGS Safety Services Director Mike Leduc at 867-222-1214 (MLeduc@GOV.NU.CA) for any assistance with this department until further notice.
- Office of the Chief Elevator Inspector: Chief Elevator Inspector Tim Innualuk – 867-222-0210 - TInnualuk@GOV.NU.CA
- NOTE: In the unlikely event you cannot reach any of the above section heads, Director of CGS Safety Services Mike Leduc can be reached at 867-222-1214 or MLeduc@GOV.NU.CA.
Nunavut Arctic College Services
Nunavut Arctic College is extending its program suspension to May 4.
The College hopes to resume courses for the Spring semester and will likely be delivered through alternative means like course packs sent to students, online offering and programming using local resources.
For all information on NAC programming and courses for the spring semester, go to: https://arcticcollege.ca/s/NAC-Q-A-Spring-semester.pdf
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.