1 COVID-19 case in Qikiqtarjuaq, several exposure notices issued in Iqaluit

Nunavut's chief public health officer announced one new case of COVID-19 in Qikiqtarjuaq on Tuesday and an exposure notices for several businesses and a Canadian North flight. He urged Nunavummiut to closely follow guidelines to curb spread in communities.

Following all public health measures 'vital' to reducing strain on health care system

Nunavut's latest COVID-19 case is in Qikiqtarjuaq, which has a population of roughly 600 people. (Submitted by Joey Henry)

Nunavut public health officials announced 11 new cases of COVID-19 in the territory, including one new case Qikiqtarjuaq on Tuesday, bringing the territory's total case count to 37.

There are now 20 cases in Iqaluit, 10 in Rankin Inlet, five in Pangnirtung, one in Sanirajak and one in Qikiqtarjuaq.

Exposure notices

The Nunavut government issued exposure notices on Tuesday for several locations, including a Canadian North flight, bars, and the movie theatre.

Anyone who was seated in rows six to nine on board Canadian North flight 5T-870 from Iqaluit to Sanirajak, with service to Rankin Inlet, on Dec. 21 is impacted by the exposure notice. 

Everybody in those rows must isolate for 14 days from their flight date and call the hotline at 1-888-975-8601 to arrange for testing, regardless of vaccination status.

There are also exposure notices in Iqaluit for:

  • The Chartroom on Dec. 20 from 7:30 p.m. to close
  • The Legion on Dec. 22 from 9 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. 
  • NuBrew Pub on Dec. 22 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m
  • The Astro Threatre on Dec. 22 at 8:30 p.m. during the showing of Sing 2
  • The Discovery Lodge Granite Room on Dec. 22 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

People affected by the notices are asked to monitor themselves for symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, for two weeks, while those who are not vaccinated are told to isolate and arrange for COVID-19 testing. 

"COVID-19 cases continue to rise and we now have active cases in five of our communities. The more communities affected by COVID-19, the greater the pressure on our health care system," said Nunavut Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson.

Patterson said it's important for people to follow all public health measures because "Nunavut's infrastructure and limited resources make it difficult to manage several outbreaks simultaneously."

"Do not gather with anyone outside of your household, wear a mask, keep physical distance, and isolate on return to the territory if you are not triple vaccinated. Successfully managing the spread of COVID-19 requires everyone to do their part to keep one another safe. Please don't take chances."

Public health measures in place until Jan. 7

There are strict public health measures in effect across the territory until Jan. 7. Travel restrictions are in place for Rankin Inlet, Iqaluit and Pangnirtung.

Travellers to those three communities can only enter for essential purposes, such as returning to their home community or travel to Southern Canada.

All non-essential travel between Nunavut communities is "highly discouraged."

Premier P.J. Akeeagok and Patterson will hold a live update at 11 a.m. EST on Wednesday.

The update will be livestreamed on CBC North's website and Facebook page. You can also listen on the Legislative Assembly TV channel, or on the radio in Iqaluit at 92.5 FM.

Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should call the COVID hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, or notify their community health centre right away by telephone. Health officials ask that people do not go to the health centre in person.

COVID-19 vaccines are available to all Nunavummiut aged five and older, and boosters are available for anyone 12 years and older. Contact your health centre to make an appointment.