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COVID-19 GN Update - May 21, 2021

21 May 2021

Premier’s update:

Today we are reporting one new case and 11 recoveries of COVID-19. There are 45 active cases in the territory, 44 in Iqaluit and one in Kinngait. There have been 197 recoveries to date in this outbreak.

So far, 16,918 Nunavummiut have received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine, and 13,906 Nunavummiut are now fully vaccinated. This is fantastic news, but we need to keep those numbers climbing. Get vaccinated if you want to protect yourself and those you love.

Our government is committed to helping people be able to complete their mandatory isolation and eliminate the spread of COVID-19. I’m pleased to announce that we have introduced a free territory-wide Isolation Hamper Support Program, to provide two weeks of food and essential items to anyone on mandatory isolation.

The hampers provide fruits, vegetables, dairy, non-perishable goods, and bread. Country food is also provided when available. Modified isolation hampers are available to accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions, as well as discretionary add-on items.

This program started on May 14 in Iqaluit and as of yesterday, 116 hampers have been delivered. The Hamper Support Program is offered to people in isolation when the Department of Health staff do their daily health check-ins. Anyone who consents will be called to place an order.

This program is available seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST and is provided in all official languages.

Nunavummiut, I am excited to see the recovery counts the last few days, but I need to remind everyone that this is not the end of COVID in Iqaluit or our territory.

We have a lot of work to do. That means that even though it’s the weekend, there can be no parties or gatherings. It means we stay apart to slow the spread of the virus. It means we take precautions and continue to follow the rules.

Atii, Nunavut. Mask up when outside your home. Stay home as much as possible. Wash your hands often. Keep strict physical distance with people outside your household bubble. Get vaccinated.

I’m proud of you all and thank you for your continued efforts and patience. Stay kind and positive to one another. Do the right thing for yourself, your family and everyone around you. Stay home and stay safe.


Minister of Health Update:

Good morning everyone. I know some of our messages are starting to sound tired and repetitive, but here I go again.

It’s the weekend, it’s sunny, and we’re almost a month and a half into this lockdown in Iqaluit. We’re tired and we want to go back to being able to do everything we could before.

What we’re doing is working – our numbers today are proof of that. But we need to keep going. COVID-19 is still here, and it can spread easily, we all know this.

Please stay focused and safe this weekend, so we can keep those new and active numbers low.

We saw Rankin Inlet, Whale Cove, Sanikiluaq and Arviat pull through with hard work and following the public health measures. Now it’s Iqaluit’s turn.

Please everyone, stay on the right track and don’t take chances. Like Premier said – follow all measures and make safe, responsible choices this weekend.

Thank you for what you’re doing, and for your sacrifices and hard work. Let’s all keep it up.


Chief Public Health Officer Update:

Good morning.

It has been more than a month since the outbreak in Iqaluit began. The current situation shows that the public health measures in the city, travel restrictions to leave the city, and isolation for those who leave Iqaluit have been effective in preventing the spread of the virus to other communities.

For those reasons, it is safe to ease restrictions in the Baffin Region, except for Iqaluit and Kinngait. Effective Monday, public health measures in the remaining Baffin Communities will be the same as they are in Rankin Inlet. Please see the website for details.

Beginning Tuesday, schools except for those in Iqaluit, will be allowed to open. Qikiqtani schools, except in Sanikiluaq, will implement Stage 2 of the Department of Education’s action plan. Sanikiluaq will go to Stage 1. Schools in Rankin will continue to be Stage 2. All remaining Kivalliq and Kitikmeot communities are at Stage 1. All Qikiqtani schools moving to Stage 2 will be given the flexibility needed to organize this transition.

I want to reinforce the importance of surveillance testing in controlling an outbreak. We use surveillance testing in areas where the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is high. Due to the incubation time of the virus and when people become infectious, surveillance testing may mean that some people are tested more than once. This focused and repeat testing allows us to identify infection early and prevent further spread of the virus. It is one of our best tools in containing an outbreak, which is why we thank all of those who have participated in this program.

For those who wonder if you are screened for COVID-19 infection through the surveillance program, you will not be expected to isolate unless the test is positive. For those who are contacted at home, please participate, as the more people participate, the more effective this surveillance program will be.



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

For all the latest information and resources about COVID-19 in Nunavut, go to:

For the latest information on current public health restrictions, go to:

For information on upcoming vaccine clinics go to:


COVID-19 case status: May 21

Total Tests Total confirmed cases Total active cases Total recovered cases Deaths Total persons followed Current persons followed
14,981 637 45 588 4 8656 437

* Confirmed cases include those meeting the national case definitions. Persons followed includes individuals with specific symptoms and exposures as well as others who are self-monitoring or self-isolated. Not all of these individuals have symptoms or require testing.

* There may be a delay reporting attribution and statistics from cases acquired in Southern Canada. 12 cases that were detected out of territory have been attributed to Nunavut. This includes 3 deaths. Not all NU residents with COVID-19 detected out of territory will be attributed to Nunavut.

COVID-19 community case statistics: May 21


Active COVID-19 transmission

Time period Confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday Confirmed COVID-19 cases today Change in case count +/- from previous day Deaths Recovered Cases Total active cases
Iqaluit Ongoing Since 14/04/2021 232 233 0 0 189 44
Kinngait Ongoing Since 19/04/2021 7 7 0 0 6 1
Rankin Inlet Ongoing Since 24/04/2021 2 2 0 0 2 0
Arviat over

11/2020 – 04/2021

339 339 0 1 338 0
Whale Cove over

11/2020 – 02/2021

23 23 0 0 23 0
Rankin Inlet over

11/2020 – 12/2020

19 19 0 0 19 0
Sanikiluaq over

11/2020 – 12/2020

2 2 0 0 2 0
TOTAL      624 625 0 1 579 45

COVID-19 vaccination status: May 17

  Nunavut Total Population Estimates by Community, as of July 1 2020   Vaccine uptake Meditech numbers as of May 10, 2021      
  Total 18 and over Done 1 dose % Done 2 dose %
Nunavut 39,353 24,878 16,720 67% 13,305 53%
Qikiqtaaluk Region 20,822 13,359 9,595 72% 7,065 53%

Arctic Bay

946 530


65% 293 55%
Clyde River  1,192 688 482 70% 415 60%
Grise Fiord  140 96 68 71% 41 43%
Igloolik  1,987 1,094 523 48% 384 35%
Iqaluit  8,284 6,049 5,189 86% 3,602 60%
Kimmirut  427 265 178 67% 161 61%
Kinngait 1,547 923 518 56% 349 38%
Pangnirtung 1,631 1,008 612 61% 471 47%
Pond Inlet  1,794 1,031 605 59% 476 46%
Qikiqtarjuaq  651 421 236 56% 182 43%
Resolute Bay 218 136 174 128% 113 83%
Sanikiluaq 1,014 573 328 57% 295 51%
Sanirajak 1,000 545 335 61% 283 52%
Kivalliq Region 11,388 7,011 4,460 64% 3,859 55%
Arviat 2,918 1,696 1,247 74% 1060 63%
Baker Lake  2,265 1,471 834 57% 713 48%
Chesterfield Inlet  453 287 177 62% 159 55%
Coral Harbour  973 554 269 49% 221 40%
Naujaat  1,270 648 325 50% 291 45%
Rankin Inlet  3,026 2,089 1,438 69% 1,279 61%
Whale Cove 483 266 170 64% 136 51%
Kitikmeot Region 7,143 4,508 2,665 59% 2,381 53%
Cambridge Bay  1,902 1,352 992 73% 894 66%
Gjoa Haven  1,398 836 410 49% 369 44%
Kugaaruk  1,180 650 273 42% 256 39%
Kugluktuk  1,517 1,000 572 57% 491 49%
Taloyoak  1,143 670 418 62% 371 55%

This information shows the number of doses given in a community as of May 17, 2021.

The percentage of vaccine administered is vaccine administered divided by the Nunavut population estimate for 18 and older.

Territorial totals for doses are an accurate summary. The community level data is under review to ensure appropriate attribution. Community totals will be adjusted as needed. This may lead to minor fluctuations in the percentages by community.

Doses are typically attributed to the community in which they are administered.

Total doses given will include residents and non-residents, including rotational workers.

An individual may have received dose 1 and/or dose 2 outside of their community of residence.

This does not account for people who may have been vaccinated partially or fully out of territory.

A high percentage in one community does not equal herd immunity. There is no established or defined percentage of what herd immunity is for COVID-19. Whatever herd immunity may be it cannot achieved with current vaccine approvals (e.g. no vaccine available for children under twelve).

Source: Statistics Canada, Demography Division, Special tabulations. Prepared by: Nunavut Bureau of Statistics, January 27, 2021.

Dose numbers are from the Department of Health’s Meditech system.

Eligible adults in community are defined as the number of individuals 18 and older as per the 2020 population estimates.

The community population estimates are "non-official" since they are not based on components of population growth (births, deaths and migration). They should be used with caution. 

Testing stats to date: May 20

Community Tests Positive Tests Negative
Iqaluit 232 3201
Kinngait 7 164
Rankin Inlet 2 94
Arviat 339 2,883
Whale Cove 23 352
Rankin Inlet 19 339
Sanikiluaq 2 202
TOTAL  624 7235

Isolation population: 

Traveler Type Guests in Isolation as of May 20
Medical 370
Public  173
Construction 34
Total 619

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date # of Travellers from Health Isolation Sites
May 21, 2021 82
May 22, 2021 12
May 23, 2021 23
May 24, 2021 68
May 25, 2021 47
Total 232

Critical Worker Requests:

As of May 21, there were 16,680 requests, 8,253 of which were critical worker requests.

Request Status # %
Approved (includes critical and non-critical) 12,919 77.5%
Denied 311 1.9%
Pending 523 3.1%
Common Travel Area 2,927 17.5%
Total 16,680 100%



Department of Education Services

New developments in your programs/ services:

K-12 Schools

According to the Chief Public Health Officer, the following stage changes will apply to Nunavut schools:

  • On Tuesday, May 25, 2021, all Qikiqtani schools, except those in Sanikiluaq, Kinngait and Iqaluit, will be moving to Stage 2.

All Qikiqtani schools, except those in Sanikiluaq, Kinngait, and Iqaluit, will implement their Stage 2 action plan.

In light of this announcement, all Qikiqtani schools moving to Stage 2 will be given the flexibility needed to organize this transition.

Ongoing services:

K-12 Schools

The following stages continue to be in effect:

  • Stage 4 – Schools in Iqaluit.
  • Stage 3 – Schools in the Qikiqtani region, except Sanikiluaq, Kinngait, and Iqaluit (Qikiqtani region schools, except Sanikiluaq, Kinngait, and Iqaluit, will change to Stage 2 on Tuesday, May 25, 2021).
  • Stage 2 – Schools in Rankin Inlet.
  • Stage 1 – Schools in Sanikiluaq, the Kitikmeot region, and Kivalliq region, except for Rankin Inlet.

Schools will implement the appropriate action plan for their current stage.

Early Learning and Child Care

All Nunavut childcare facilities can remain open, with the exception of Iqaluit.

Financial Assistance for Nunavut Students (FANS)

Students booking their FANS-eligible travel must follow the public health measures and recommendations of the CPHO.
If students have questions about their travel, they can contact the FANS office for information at

Adjusted services:

K-12 Schools

According to the Chief Public Health Officer, the following stage changes will apply to Nunavut schools:

  • On Tuesday, May 25, 2021, all Qikiqtani schools, except those in Sanikiluaq, Kinngait, and Iqaluit, will be moving to Stage 2.

All Qikiqtani schools, except those in Sanikiluaq, Kinngait, and Iqaluit, will implement their Stage 2 action plan.

In light of this announcement, all Qikiqtani schools moving to Stage 2 will be given the flexibility needed to organize this transition.

  • In Stage 2, elementary students will attend school full-time, five days per week. Middle and high school students will have a blend of in-school and remote learning. Students will attend school two to three days per week. Specific schedules will be determined by each school’s Stage 2 action plan.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

K-12 Schools

Iqaluit schools are closed for in-school instruction until further notice.

  • In Stage 4, all instruction will be conducted remotely. All schools are closed to students, staff, and the public. School staff will regularly communicate with all students.

Early Learning and Child Care

Iqaluit childcare facilities are closed until further notice.



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.