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COVID-19 GN Update - March 31, 2020

31 March 2020

Premier’s update:

There are still no confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

Upon recommendation from the Chief Public Health Officer, schools and daycare facility closures are extended until end of day April 20. At that point, Dr. Patterson will reassess and provide further direction.

The Department of Education is launching a learn-at-home website today – www.angirrami.com – to provide free access to Inuktut educational materials for families and caregivers during these closures.

People keep asking me about Nunavut being the last jurisdiction in the country with no confirmed cases of COVID-19. I’m not sure how to answer that. I am thankful, but more than anything, I want us to stay attentive and vigilant.

This does not mean that we get to be careless or relaxed about social and physical distancing, handwashing and staying home. We need to be stay alert and focused.

I know a lot of us feel like we are stuck at home, but it’s much more than that. Instead, let’s try to shift that mindset to feeling like we’re safe at home.

To those that continue to gather in groups and act like these measures don’t apply to them – stop. Just stop. You are needlessly endangering your family, friends, Elders and community. There is no excuse.

Staying home will save lives. Please do your part to keep our communities and Nunavummiut safe.

 

Minister of Education update:

Since March 17, Nunavut schools have been closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result, parents and caregivers have been asking for educational resources to help their children continue to learn.

Today I am announcing that the Department of Education has developed a learn-at-home website, Angirrami Ilinniarniq (angirrami.com). This website offers free access to some of the same educational resources used in our schools.

These include downloadable books and e-books for pre-school ages and up; educational audiobooks and animated videos; tips and activities for learning; and resources for managing stress and mental health.

There will also be links to download the department’s Inuktut language learning apps:

  • Uqausiit Pinnguarutiit has fun activities that support Inuit language shape and sound recognition, and vocabulary development.
  • Titirariuqsauti introduces Inuit language symbol sounds and printing paths. 
  • Qimirrunaut is the department’s new Inuktut e-book library app.

These apps are available for Android and iOS devices and can be downloaded from the Google Play or Apple App stores.

Angirrami Ilinniarniq provides links to other online educational resources on subjects such as science, math, history, and social studies. 

I want to also note that although the website launches today, new resources will be regularly added. The priority is to get our Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun resources online as quickly as possible. English and French resources will follow soon after.

All the resources found on this site were created by the Department of Education and its partners, including the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and the Representative for Children and Youth’s Office, as well as the Departments of Family Services, Health, Environment, and Economic Development and Transportation.

I want to thank all the students, parents, and caregivers for their patience. I know for many of you it has not been easy with schools and child care facilities closed. However, we must all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

I assure you that my department has been working hard to get this website ready as quickly as possible.

I encourage Nunavummiut to explore all the resources this website has to offer. Make learning a part of your daily routine!

Qujannamiik, quana, thank you, merci.

 

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:

Current numbers of Nunavut residents in isolation locations southern Canada

315 people are currently in isolation locations in southern Canada. 178 are Nunavummiut on medical travel, 78 are Nunavummiut returning to the territory and 59 are Nunavut students.

Department of Health Services

  • If you are investigation for COVID-19 and experiencing symptoms, you could be fined if you leave your home. Ask your neighbours/family/friends to leave groceries at your doorstep.
  • Immediate access to urgent and emergent health care services continues. All non-urgent requests will be triaged daily.
  • 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
  • As of today, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in the territory.
  • Only residents and critical workers are allowed into Nunavut.
  • No mass gatherings are permitted.
  • Physicians will continue community visits.
  • Visitation in all health facilities is limited to reduce the risk of transmission of illness.
  • Mental health supports are available.

 

Department of Education Services

Today, the Department of Education Is launching a learn-at-home website, Angirrami Ilinniarniq (angirrami.com). This learn-at-home website developed by the Department of Education provides free access to help children and youth continue learning in their language during the school closure.

Upon recommendation from the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO), schools and daycare facility closures for students and children will be extended until end of day April 20. At that point and time, the CPHO will reassess and provide direction.

 

Department of Justice Services

The Corrections division has been working diligently at all levels to ensure we have plans in place to support our staff, our inmates and the community throughout this public health emergency. There is currently a great deal of information in the media from other jurisdictions about what is happening within correctional facilities in other jurisdictions.

To ensure Nunavummiut are up to date and aware of the current steps being taken in Nunavut, we are providing the following update. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure the virus does not enter the correctional facilities.

Measures already in place include suspending all outside visitation and non-essential traffic. We appreciate the patience and support we have received from inmates and their families in taking this step as we are aware this is not easy.

Given the heightened security risks associated with corrections, we cannot provide specific details regarding our individual institutional plans.

However, we can provide the following information regarding steps begin taken:

  • All intakes are being isolated for a period of 14 days upon intake.
  • Institutions have added additional hand sanitizing stations in high traffic areas.
  • Response/containment kits are being outfitted with gloves, masks, face shields, gowns and instructions for use.
  • Nurses are diligently screening inmates upon intake for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Facilities are increasing food and supply orders to ensure facilities are well stocked in the event of an outbreak.
  • Increased cleaning protocols to ensure communal surfaces are cleaned on an increased schedule throughout the day.

In addition to these health and safety steps being taken, the department has reviewed all inmates eligible for early release to reduce the inmate population as much as possible.

We will continue to take action that will support the health and safety of our inmates, staff and all Nunavummiut.

 

Department of Environment Services

Closed/Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • New research permits will not be granted due to the closure of HTOs and travel restrictions related to COVID-19.

 

Qulliq Energy Corporation

QEC will not be performing disconnections of accounts or installing load limiters until further notice to ensure that customers can avoid undue hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, go to: https://www.qec.nu.ca/

 

Nunavut Arctic College

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.