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COVID-19 GN Update - November 20, 2020

20 November 2020

COVID-19 GN Update - November 20, 2020

Premier’s update:

Good morning. Today, Nunavut has 10 new cases of COVID-19. There is one new case in Arviat, three new cases in Whale Cove and six additional cases in Rankin Inlet.
Nunavut now has a total of 84 cases of COVID-19. The total number of persons followed to date is 4293. There are 892 persons currently being followed.

As we head into the first weekend of our lock down, I’m asking Nunavummiut to stay strong and focused. This virus does not care how hard we’re working or how bored or tired we are. We do not get to relax for a single moment with what we’re doing. Please do not give it a chance to take more of a hold in any of our communities.

As much as I know it will be hard, I remind you all to please not visit or socialize outside your household. By all means, go outside – go hunting, go fishing, go on the land- but keep to your household if you can. Otherwise, keep your group small and within the five-person gathering limit.

As always, wear a mask outside your home, maintain strong distance, wash your hands, cough into your elbow, clean surfaces regularly.

I know our reality is hard right now, especially for our kids. Today is National Child Day – so I encourage everyone to celebrate our children and their spirits, talents and gifts. Our kids are a big part of our lives and communities, and COVID is hard on them too. Let’s try to take some time today to let the children around us know how special they are, and how proud we are of the sacrifices they’re making too.

Kids, we are so, so proud of what you’re doing. We hope things might be a more normal sometime soon. You’re all so brave!

To everyone across the territory – thank you. I have heard almost nothing but positivity, encouragement and praise for one another and all the work everyone is doing. We can do this. We can keep it up.

Stay Well. Stay Safe. Stay Home.


Chief Public Health Officer Update:

Good morning. Today I would like to explain a bit about what it means when we say someone has been identified as having had contact with COVID-19.

The goal of contact tracing is to break transmission as soon as possible. When someone is diagnosed with COVID-19 we want to find out who they spent time with while they were infectious. These people are considered contacts, and may be incubating (or growing) the virus. Symptoms may appear up to 14 days after the last contact with an infected individual.

For people who have been exposed to COVID-19, it is critical that they isolate themselves during these 14 days, regardless of test results. It is very common to be spreading the virus without realizing it, which may make others sick. So, if you have been told that you have had high risk contact with COVID-19, you must isolate at home. This is the best way to avoid spreading the virus.

Part of the job of a contact tracer is to assess the chance that COVID-19 has spread between two people. We know that transmission is most likely when people are close together for longer periods. The general rule of thumb is that transmission is more likely when 2 people are within 6 feet of each other for more than 10 minutes, which is why it is important to avoid gatherings and limit social interactions to those you live with.

During the incubation period the virus may be growing inside us, but the tests may not find it. Isolating yourself when asked will help break transmission, protecting your friends, family, and community.

Even if you have not been in contact with COVID-19, there is a lot that everyone can do to break transmission of COVID-19:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Keep your social bubble small, by limiting social activities to small groups of the same people
  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a mask
  • Watch your distance

On Wednesday, I mention the hard work our Rapid Response and Public teams are doing to respond to the outbreak. Today, I want to extend my appreciation to our lab staff. They are putting in extraordinary hours, working through the night and into the early hours of the morning to get test results done. Their work is instrumental in our efforts to contain the virus.

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

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:

NU COVID-19 Statistics Nov. 20

Community Confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday Confirmed COVID-19 cases today Change in case count +/- from previous day
Arviat 57 58 1
Whale Cove 8 11 3
Rankin 7 13 6
Sanikiluaq 2 2 0
TOTAL 74 84 10

Testing stats to date: 

Community Tests Positive Tests Negative
Arviat 58 137
Whale Cove 11 21
Rankin  13 110
Sani 2 119
TOTAL 84 387


Total (All Health Isolation Location)  
Traveler Type Guests in Isolation as of Nov.19
Medical 326
Public 167
Total 493

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date # of Travellers from health Isolation Sites
20-Nov 32
21-Nov 7
22-Nov 12
23-Nov 57
24-Nov 13
Total 121

Critical Worker Requests:

As of Nov..19 there were 9064 requests, 4214 of which were critical worker requests.

Request Status # %
Approved (includes critical and non-critical) 6059 66.8%
Denied 281 3.2%
Pending 212 3.1%
Common Travel Area Approved 2512 2.3%
Total 9064 100%


Department of Environment Services

All territorial parks are closed until further notice.


Department of Finance Services

Employee Pay Information for December 11

All GN employees will continue to be paid as scheduled. Non-standard pay such as overtime and acting pay and any recoveries (including AWOL and LWOP) may experience delays in processing.

Indeterminate employees will receive regular salary.

All continuing casual employees have been extended to November 27 and do not need to submit timesheets.

Relief employees who have worked from November 14 to November 26 need to submit timesheets by 5 p.m. on November 26. At this time, only the employee and supervisor are required to sign the timesheet. Late submissions will not be processed.

For those employees who receive cheques, we will try to have them in your community as usual. We encourage you to utilize electronic banking options to ensure you receive your pay on payday. For those who receive direct deposit, paystubs will be issued at a later date.

For more information, please contact Tracey Moyles, Director of Compensation and Benefits at


Department of Justice Services

The Corrections Division of the Department of Justice continues to review practices and procedures within the correctional facilities to ensure the safety of our inmates and staff during this time. Adjustments to some programming within the facilities is needed to support this priority.

Ongoing services:

The Inuit cultural skills program (ICSP) will continue to take place.

Money transfers and drop-offs will continue. Money drop-offs will be at scheduled times at Baffin Correctional Centre and the Rankin Inlet Healing Facility. There may be delays in transfers due to limited number of staff working in the finance office.

Adjusted services:

All “In-Person” visits are cancelled, however facilities will be working to provide inmates video visitation, where possible. In-Person visit restrictions will be reviewed on a regular basis.

The following measures are in place to allow for the continuation of programming, where possible:

  • No volunteers, contractors or external bodies will be permitted into facilities
  • Limitations have been placed on program class sizes
  • Restrictions are in place for the number of non-operational staff permitted in the building

With these restrictions in mind, facilities will look to increase fresh-air time.

Work Programs will continue with the following restrictions:

  • No community interactions/exposure
  • Maximum 2 inmates with Town Crew officer for off-site jobs
  • PPE must be worn by staff and inmates at all times
  • Only essential/critical off-site work will be approved
  • On-site work will continue, where COVID-19 precautions can be safely observed

Elders counselling will be working a modified schedule with volunteer/casual Elders on a case-by-case basis. Approvals will take into consideration the risk of exposure to the Elder or facility and will be in the secure visiting area.

Facilities will not be accepting country food delivery directly from the community members. The Corrections Division will purchase additional quantities of country food from vendors. The facility menus will reflect this increase. In addition, corrections is reviewing the feasibility of including country food on canteen orders.

In addition to the protocol updates previously announced, corrections and other justice partners are working to reduce inmate numbers where possible.

All sentenced inmates within our correctional facilities were reviewed to determine eligibility for early release. From this review, there were a total of 4 inmates set for early release from the Baffin Correctional Centre between now and November 25, 2020 and 4 inmates set for early release from the Rankin Inlet Health Facility between now and December 1, 2020.

As of November 18, the Nunavut Court of Justice has announced a reduction in operations, however, they have confirmed that bail reviews for individuals who are remanded within our facilities will continue to occur.
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.