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COVID-19 GN Update - May 25, 2020

25 May 2020

Premier’s update:

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

Today, the total number of people under investigation to date is 1010. 122 people are currently under investigation.

Dr. Patterson will speak in a few moments about our next steps as we navigate our new normal through COVID-19. Although this virus hasn’t been present in Nunavut so far, we know that we have to be prepared and vigilant until a vaccine or treatments are developed. Dr. Patterson and his team have developed what I think is the best framework for Nunavummiut, based on public health evidence and sound practices. It sets the course for how and when to move forward, when to pause and re-assess, and if/when we have to re-instate restrictions.

Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to set-up this plan, to everyone who has been involved in Nunavut’s response to COVID-19 over the last 10 weeks, and to everyone who has done their part to keep the territory safe and well. We still have lots of work to do, and we will continue this path together.

 

Chief Public Health Officer update

Good morning. These past two months have not been easy, and all Nunavummiut have had to make sacrifices.

However, thanks to our combined efforts, we are protecting our families, our communities, and our territory from this pandemic, and I hope that all Nunavummiut can feel a sense of pride knowing that their actions are making a deep and measurable impact on keeping Nunavut healthy and safe.

It is time for us to move forward. This does not mean that this pandemic is over. This does not mean that the threat has passed. This means that we can cautiously begin our return to the activities we enjoy, knowing that at any time we may need to change our behaviour to protect ourselves from emerging threats.

In the coming weeks, we will work with our stakeholders to re-introduce our businesses, our activities, and our programs in a way that is safe, sustainable, and poses the least risk to the health and safety of Nunavummiut. Know that as we begin to loosen restrictions internally, it is imperative that our strict border measures remain to minimize the risk of introducing COVID-19 into the territory.

With that being said, I’m pleased to announce that as of June 1:

  • Daycares will be permitted to open up for regular business.
  • The size limit for outdoor gatherings will increase to 25 people.
  • Territorial parks will be allowed to reopen for outdoor activities only, if local circumstances permit. All park buildings will remain closed.
  • Municipal playgrounds will be allowed to re-open, again, if local circumstances permit.

These particular conditions have been selected because they are deemed low risk. Moving forward, our plan is to re-assess our condition every two weeks. If the state of COVID in Nunavut is favorable, we will continue to lift public health measures, beginning with lower risk activities and programs. If our condition is stable, we may remain at the status quo until we are confident that lifting additional restrictions would not pose an undue risk to Nunavummiut. Finally, if the threat of COVID-19 increases, or eased public health measures are posing a potential public health threat to the territory, we may need to introduce or re-introduce certain conditions.

I share in everyone’s desire to return to normal. We all want to know when we can confidently and safely travel within our own territory, or to our neighbouring jurisdictions. However, trying to forecast specific dates and timelines for when we can lift all of our public health measures would be inaccurate, and frankly, it would be insincere.

The COVID-19 pandemic is evolving rapidly, and every single week yields new information that shapes our strategy and our public health measures. Predictions and decisions made on the basis of today’s understanding of the virus may be obsolete in a short time. For this reason, we have opted for an approach that is flexible, cautious, and adaptive to the evolving situation around us.

Again, I want to thank all Nunavummiut for their continued patience and understanding. No one is left unaffected by this pandemic, but our collective accountability has kept Nunavut safe so far. This accountability and responsibility needs to continue, and, as we loosen restrictions, we must continue to practice social distancing, stay away from others when we are sick and wash our hands often.

Thank you.

 

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 nu.thrive.health

Volumes

Total (All Isolation Locations)

Traveler Type

Guests in Isolation as of May 24

Medical Travel

141

Public

89

Students

0

Total

230

 

 

 

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date

# of Travellers from Isolation Sites

May 23

14

May 24

6

May 25

31

May 26

19

May 27

15

 

Critical Worker Requests

As of May 24, there are 1131 requests, 878 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status

#

%

Approved (includes critical and non-critical)

963

84.6%

Denied

127

11.2%

Pending

41

4.3%

Total

1131

100%

 

Department of Education Services

The Department of Education has developed guidelines for child-care facility reopening, including information on enhanced cleaning and hygiene, and physical distancing during drop-off and pick-up.

The Department of Education will be connecting with all licensed child-care facilities in the coming days.

 

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.