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Presumptive case of COVID-19 in Nunavut

02 July 2020

News Release

Presumptive case of COVID-19 in Nunavut

IQALUIT, Nunavut (July 2, 2020) – Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer, has announced a presumptive case of COVID-19 at the Mary River Mine, 176 kilometres southwest of Pond Inlet.

“The individual is in isolation away from co-workers and doing well. The situation is contained, and I want to assure Nunavummiut that this individual recently entered the territory for work, and there has been no contact between Mary River workers and any of the surrounding communities,” said Dr. Patterson.

No Nunavut residents have worked at the Mary River Mine since March. The Department of Health is monitoring the situation closely and is ready to provide support and respond if and when necessary. Baffinland has activated its COVID-19 protocols and has initiated contact tracing. All known contacts have been placed under isolation. Since this is an isolated case, operations at the Mary River mine will continue at this time.

“There is no need for Nunavummiut to worry about the spread of COVID-19 in relation to this case,” said Minister of Health George Hickes. “All necessary precautions are in place, and workers at the mine have not had any contact with any community members. We wish this individual a quick recovery. Please remember that we all have a role to play in limiting the spread of COVID-19, and now is the time to stay vigilant with our public health measures.”

This current situation does not affect the current public health measures, Nunavut’s Path or the Common Travel Area between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

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. Please do not go to the health centre in person.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough or difficulty breathing. The best protection from spreading or catching the disease is physical distancing, handwashing for at least 20 seconds, coughing and sneezing into an elbow and staying home as much as possible.

An update will be provided at a press conference at 2 p.m. today.


Media Contact:

Cate Macleod
Press Secretary to Premier Savikataaq

Scott Hitchcox
Communications Specialist
Department of Health