Staff Directory

You are here

COVID-19 GN Update - May 21, 2020

21 May 2020

Premier’s update:

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

Today, the total number of people under investigation to date is 972. 223 people are currently under investigation.

We were hoping to unveil our re-opening plan to ease restrictions and measures today, but we are still finalizing some elements to ensure the safety and well-being of Nunavummiut. This needs to be done correctly to ensure our plans will be successful and work in Nunavut, for Nunavummiut.

Thank you for your patience as we complete this important work. Our aim is to make this public early next week.

In closing, I want to acknowledge the boredom and weariness we’re all feeling. COVID-19 fatigue is real. But that doesn’t mean we should let down our guards or ease up on the good work we’re all doing. If anything, Nunavut’s measures show that staying attentive works!

Being tired or bored doesn’t mean this pandemic is over or that we should take it easy. I’m re-committing to working hard and staying strong. We all need to do this together to keep our communities safe. Let’s have each other’s backs and be responsible for one another.

We’ll be back on Monday at 11 a.m. for our next update. Have a good weekend.


Chief Public Health Officer update

Good afternoon. I am pleased to announce several items today. The first is that Rankin Inlet now has the ability to provide testing if a positive case is confirmed in-territory. I’d like to commend the medical and laboratory staff, especially Matt Stacey and Dr. Jasmine Pawa, who have been working tirelessly to become acquainted with the GeneXpert machine, and to ensure that it can be managed safely, efficiently, and accurately. Getting this machine up and running is a significant step forward for Nunavut, as this now fulfills our criteria of obtaining reliable and effective in-territory diagnostic capacity. When coupled with the fact that we still have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 inside the territory, we have now met two of our three conditions. While the situation in southern Canada will continue to play a role in our approach moving forward, we are now in a better position to consider reducing some restrictions in the territory.

I have one other piece of news I would like to share. Moving forward, Kitikmeot medical travellers receiving treatment in Yellowknife are no longer required to undergo the 14-day isolation period, and instead will be permitted to return home immediately. This decision has been made through consultation with the Northwest Territories and is contingent on there being no active cases of COVID-19 in the NWT. Please note that this is for medical travellers only, and this is only when their treatment is provided in Yellowknife. Any medical traveller who needs to leave the Northwest Territories to receive treatment in other cities in Canada will still be required to complete their 14-day isolation period. For all medical travellers to whom this new rule applies who are currently in quarantine, we are working to get you home as soon as possible.

As always, our main goal is the safety, health and well being of Nunavummiut. I would like to thank you all for your patience, understanding and support as we continue to care for our families and our communities.


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

COVID Hotline and Self-Assessment Tool

Anyone who has reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 is advised to call the COVID hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., or notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days.

Anyone with access to internet can also take the online self-assessment tool


Total (All Isolation Locations)

Traveler Type

Guests in Isolation as of May 21

Medical Travel








Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date

# of Travellers from Isolation Sites

May 21


May 22


May 23


May 24


May 25


Critical Worker Requests

As of May 21, there are 1080 requests, 838 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status



Approved (includes critical and non-critical)













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.