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COVID-19 detected in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, wastewater

Traces of COVID-19 have been detected in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut's wastewater. The territory's acting chief public health officer said that “the unexpected signals could mean people with COVID-19 are in the community or recently travelled through."

Health officials say there are currently no confirmed infections in Nunavut

Traces of COVID-19 have been detected in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut's wastewater. The territory's acting chief public health officer, said that “the unexpected signals could mean people with COVID-19 are in the community or recently travelled through." (Juanita Taylor/CBC)

COVID-19 has been detected in Rankin Inlet's wastewater. 

The territory's chief public health office reported the case Friday afternoon. It said there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Rankin Inlet.  

Dr. Rosann Seviour, Nunavut's acting chief public health officer, said "the unexpected signals could mean people with COVID-19 are in the community or recently travelled through Rankin Inlet and are unaware of the infection."

The signals were identified in samples collected on August 17, 18 and 19. The recent positive tests are the first time the virus has been detected in the community's wastewater. 

Nunavut has not had a confirmed case of COVID-19 since mid-June. 

In a news release, the public health office said the Department of Health is monitoring the situation and has increased testing frequency in response.

To help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the community, the department asks Rankin Inlet residents to:

• Wear a mask in all indoor public places;

• Stay home if sick and call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-975-8601 to schedule testing;

• Limit household visitors to members of the home plus 15 people.

All Nunavummiut are reminded to practice physical distancing, frequent hand washing, to wear a mask in public spaces and to get tested if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19.

Health officials urged people who have not been vaccinated to get their shots.

Residents should call their health centre to book an appointment. 

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