Nunavik confirms 11th case of COVID-19, announces new phase of testing

Health officials in Nunavik say they are entering a new phase of confirming cases of COVID-19, as they announced the 11th case of the illness in the region on Monday.

10 'linked' cases have come out of community of Puvirnituq

In this illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The Nunavik region now has 11 confirmed cases. (The Canadian Press)

Health officials in Nunavik say they have entered a new phase of how cases of COVID-19 are confirmed, as they announced the 11th case of the illness in the northern Quebec region on Monday.

The person was in the community of Puvirnituq, bringing the community's total number of cases to 10. Over the weekend alone, four new cases were announced in the village.

According to a release sent late Monday afternoon by the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS), the person was already in isolation and will continue their isolation at home.

The release also confirmed that the cases in Puvirnituq are all linked, "meaning that they were close contacts to each other."

The release defines close contacts as:

  • Intimate partners.
  • Individuals who provide personal care in a non-medical setting.
  • Individuals who have had direct contact with an infectious person's bodily fluids.

New phase of confirming cases

The Monday release also stated that the region is moving into a new stage for confirming cases, in a quickly evolving situation.

"Nunavik has now entered a new phase when it comes to confirming the status of individuals suspected of having COVID-19," said Marie Rochette, director of public health at the NRBHSS, in the release.

From now on, when an individual shows symptoms of COVID-19 and has also been identified as a close contact of someone who is confirmed of having the illness, they will no longer be tested and will "automatically be considered a confirmed case."

The release quotes Minnie Grey, executive director of the NRBHSS, as referring to this as a "case confirmed by epidemiological link."

However, "individuals with COVID-19 symptoms that are not a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 will still need to be tested, in order to confirm their diagnosis," said Grey.