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1 new case of COVID-19 found in Arviat, bringing total active cases to 26

Health authorities declared one new case of COVID-19 in Arviat, the latest in an ongoing outbreak that has accelerated in recent days.

Nearly 2,300 COVID-19 tests have been performed in the community

One new case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the hamlet Friday. (Submitted by Dylan Clark)

Health authorities in Nunavut have identified another COVID-19 case in the hamlet of Arviat, a community of about 3,000 people where 312 cases have been confirmed since November.

Officials announced the positive diagnosis Friday, which brings the total number of active cases in the community to 26.

The hamlet council declared a local state of emergency Tuesday in response to the outbreak, imposing a curfew between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. for all but hunters and late-shift workers. Travel in and out of Arviat is restricted, unless for emergency or essential purposes.

"It is important to acknowledge how difficult lockdown has been for the community," Dr. Michael Patterson, the territory's chief public health officer, said in a statement. "Progress can be slow, but it is still progress."

The community has had access to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine since mid-January, but health officials will not say how many people in the community have been vaccinated. More than 7,200 people have received "at least one dose" across the territory, Friday's release notes.

A public health "rapid response team" remains in the community, and more than 2,300 COVID-19 tests have been performed to date.

The community appeared to have eradicated the disease in January, reporting no new cases between Dec. 28 and Jan. 22. But since then, dozens of new cases have been discovered. Health officials have not explained the reason for the gap in reported cases.

Residents who suspect they may have come in contact with COVID-19 are asked to call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, or notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days.  

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