Arviat reports 6 new cases of COVID-19, increasing active cases to 30

The Nunavut hamlet is seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 after eliminating all active cases in January.

Nunavut hamlet is seeing resurgence of COVID-19 after eliminating active cases in January

A file photo of Arviat, Nunavut, in 2016. The community is experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19. (Submitted by Dylan Clark)

A government of Nunavut website announced six new cases of COVID-19 in Arviat Saturday, the latest in a resurgence of cases in the Arctic hamlet of just under 3,000 people.

It's the eighth day in a row that new cases have been reported. With one recovery, the hamlet now has 30 active cases of the disease.

On Friday, Nunavut Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson pleaded with residents not to spend the weekend visiting friends and family.

"It is imperative that Arviammiut refrain from visiting, maintain strong physical distancing and wear masks when outside their households," he said in a news release.

Travel in and out of the hamlet is currently restricted to those travelling for emergencies or essential purposes. Health authorities are asking anyone who has travelled in since Jan. 12 to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms.

The hamlet has been the epicentre of an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 since November. But from late December to late January, no new cases were reported.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is currently available in the community, but the territory has not said how many people have been vaccinated. Nearly 2,500 COVID-19 tests have been performed in the community. 

The territory has seen 338 cases of COVID-19 total, of which 294 have been in Arviat. One Arviat resident has died of the disease. 

Nunavummiut 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. EST, or notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days.