2 COVID-19 cases at Aqsarniit school are among 3 new cases, Savikataaq says

Nunavut’s active cases climb to 9 after dropping to a single case earlier in the week

Two of the three new COVID-19 cases reported Saturday are connected to Aqsarniit Middle School in Iqaluit, Premier Joe Savikataaq said on Twitter on Saturday. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Updated on Sunday, June 13 at 2:45 p.m.

Premier Joe Savikataaq urged Iqaluit residents to “stay calm and on course” after three new COVID-19 cases were reported Saturday, bringing Nunavut’s caseload up to nine.

Two of the cases are people at Aqsarniit Middle School, he also announced in a separate tweet Saturday morning. He did not specify whether they are students or staff. Government officials are contacting parents, students and staff who have been identified through contact tracing, Savikataaq said.

Saturday’s three new cases are among people who were not vaccinated, Savikataaq wrote on Twitter. All of the new cases are in Iqaluit, he added. Iqaluit has been dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 for nearly two months after the city’s first-ever case was confirmed on April 14.

“Let’s stay calm and on course as we manage these cases,” he wrote.

It was the second day in a row that Nunavut’s case count increased. Four new cases were reported Friday. The premier called that increase “concerning” and predicted “we’ll see more cases in the coming days too.”

On June 4, there were 10 cases but, after a stretch of days with recoveries combined with no new cases to add, the count fell to a single case on Monday.

Government officials are scheduled to provide an update on the COVID-19 situation on Monday morning at the legislative assembly.

Correction: This story has been corrected from a previous version to correct the spelling of the school’s name.

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(26) Comments:

  1. Posted by Concerned Parent on

    Monday morning? If that is the situation I assume this school is closed. Surely the government and the department of education wouldnt be so stupid to send kids to school when they do not know if spread is happening at the school.

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    • Posted by High school parent on

      The post on FB says they are going to update about the school, today, Sunday the 13th. The normal press release conference is tomorrow. They are expected to update this afternoon about the status of the school, which will likely be closed. This information is missing from this article.

  2. Posted by Angry on

    this government has completely failed as well as dr patterson. they opened way to early. shut everything down again for 2 weeks and save the summer.
    also, next elections vote them all out and figur out a way to get rid of dr patterson

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    • Posted by juggle on

      I thought they did a great job from the start. But they really dropped the ball over the past week and a half. They jumped the gun and now I’m fairly certain that they will be too prideful to walk back on their decisions.

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    • Posted by Jeff on

      I tend to agree with u. Why is Iqaluit reopening when there are still active cases in the community? Lock the community down again like u did in other NU communities’. The premier & dr & health minister appear to be caving in to pressures from gn employees in Iqaluit (and teachers) who want to get south for patio season. And! the only community that shd have a mandatory mask policy is the one that can’t extinguish covid cases… Iqaluit. I’m saying that even tho I live here. I am so tired of reading & hearing about the mishandling of this situation by the premier & dr & health minister. Establish a plan & follow the plan!

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    • Posted by Ian on

      Angry I am to, at the people who never got vaccinated, or refuse to, Angry I am to people who party, go to bars, and do not wear masks or social distance.and visit and break all the rules because they can.angry I am for following all the rules and have to suffer, that’s the ones to blame, I have both shots, and follow the rules and do not blame the doctor or politicians . That’s what we do in Nunavut .

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      • Posted by John K on

        We can ABSOLUTELY be mad at both.

        This is just one more addition to the list of lessons that Nunavut refused to learn from other regions. I understand that we have a very different level of vaccination but that does little to change the fact that we all watched Ontario open too early over and over again.

        But no matter… those are southerners. It’ll work here in the land where carts pull horses.

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    • Posted by Digital Doc on

      I say let’s get rid of all the old fashion doctors, who wasted their time on these old schools of medicine, and rely on Google for all our medical decisions, as it seems to have all the answers, or even better, we can just ask Alexa, she sounds like she knows what she is talking about.

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    • Posted by Yes Yes Yes on

      I nominate “Angry” to be both Premier of Nunavut and its Chief Medical Officer.

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    • Posted by Rick on

      Stop the blame game. Only COVID is responsible. Follow all the Public Health guidelines.

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    • Posted by John W Paul Murphy on

      COMPLETELY FAILED??? Now that makes me and thousands of others in Nunavut angry.
      Where have you been the past 18 months? What a really stupid statement. Your holiday shut down?? Poor you. Go join the party and smoke some more of that stuff you are smoking.

      To Dr. Patterson, his CPHO staff, and all medical staff in the communities. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Those of us with any brains know, (as I am sure you do), that you have done an exemplary job in containing the virus from potentially destroying any one of our small communities.

      Perhaps you can find something to help “angry” above. He/she must be on something.,

      SMH

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    • Posted by High school parent on

      Failed? If by keeping most of Nunavut COVID free for so long, during the first, second and third waves everywhere else is a failure then boy I would love to see your hate for if they never restricted travel at all.

      The only failure is those who continue to adhere to what is considered standard practices to prevent the spread of COVID. Having someone get a travel exemption, stay at the boarding home, and then visit family in Iqaluit, only to get a positive COVID test a few days later is the failure. Everyone shames essential workers and attacks them when we get cases. Part of the letter you get for being exempt to travel states specifically you are NOT to have contact with anyone for 14 days. That doesn’t mean selling your sewing projects, country food, at the boarding home, which is against the medical travel policy anyway, but people do it freely.
      Its travel for healthcare, not a vacation, shopping trip, family visit, or method to sell your handicrafts.

      Maybe its time to stop allowing people to travel who continually break the rules.

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  3. Posted by so confused on

    Shouldn’t all staff and students at the school be isolating for 14 days? Everyone who has been at the board home or emergency room has to. this is from the other article:

    Anyone who was at the general hospital’s emergency waiting room from 8 p.m. on June 7 until 9 p.m. on June 9 and anybody who stayed at or visited the boarding home from June 4 to June 8 may have been exposed to COVID-19, said the government advisory, circulated Friday afternoon on social media.

    Visitors or patients who were at the Qikiqtani General Hospital’s emergency waiting room are asked to immediately isolate where they are for 14 days and call their local health centre or the COVID-19 hotline for testing, if symptoms occur. If no symptoms occur, they’re asked to self-monitor for the duration of that time.

    People in Iqaluit without symptoms but who were in the waiting room at that time can also go for a COVID-19 test at the cadet hall between noon and 4 p.m. on weekends and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays.

    Those who stayed or visited the boarding home are asked to immediately isolate where they are for 14 days and call their local health centre for testing, or if in Iqaluit, call the COVID-19 hotline at 975-8601.

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  4. Posted by Why u dum on

    Really, you blame the government I blame the parents who sent their kids to school sick.

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    • Posted by Smh on

      Covid has been in the news for a year and a half, and you still don’t get how it works? People can walk around without symptoms, totally unaware that they have covid and infect people. That is how this virus became a global pandemic. People didn’t send their kids to school knowing they had Covid.
      It’s in part because of bullies like you that people are afraid to get tested. Your attitude is not helpful to anyone. You are contributing to the spread of Covid by saying things like that.

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  5. Posted by Name withheld on

    I’m not sure who is either stupid the Premier or his staff who tweets for him.

    As it says that the “confirm case from the Middle school have not been vaccinated,”

    🙄 Didn’t Nunavut just make an announcement that they would start the vaccine to children 12 and over? So yes if the confirm cases from middle school are the students , of course they aren’t vaccinated yet!! OMG

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  6. Posted by Gambling with peoples lives on

    Way to go Joe Savikataaq and Dr. Michael Patterson. Will you guys attend the funerals of anybody who dies because you broke your own reopening rules? What happened to waiting 21 days after the last case recovers. We were so close to ending this, just 1 case to go, and you both botched it.
    .
    I wish we could vote out a premier because Joe has to go. Joe botched the Arviat outbreak and now he’s botching the Iqaluit one. Go back to Arviat and don’t come back.
    .
    We need leadership. Grow a spine, shut down the city until 21 days after the final case recovers and stick to the plan or the virus can spread to all of Qik, Kiv and Kit.

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  7. Posted by How many other students/teachers were infected at Aqsarniit? on

    how many students were infected at school, brought it home, infected family who is going out and spreading it more?
    .
    test every student asap. shut the schools.
    .
    there’s only 2 weeks left. it’s not worth a full blown outbreak.
    .
    what don’t they understand? not everyone is vaccinated. a variant can happen here.
    .
    stop risking people’s lives.

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  8. Posted by Who would be dumb enough to send their kids to school for just 2 weeks and get infected? on

    Mind boggling that we reopened too soon and mind boggling that parents risked their family’s lives to send kids to school with only a few days left in the year. I don’t know what is worse, incompetent elected officials or incompetent bureaucrats. Shut the city down until we’re covid free.

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    • Posted by John K on

      A lot of people had no choice once they were called back to work. I’m usually not the tin foil hat type but it’s hard not wonder if the school wasn’t opened in contravention of the CPHOs own policy specifically so that the GN could get asses back at desks.

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  9. Posted by Joe has to go on

    He is better than Quassa but that’s not saying much. Joe had to manage the Arviat and Iqaluit outbreaks. He failed both times. We need new leadership. Thanks for your efforts Joe, but we don’t need our government reopening schools while there’s a deadly virus in our communities with over-crowded homes.

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  10. Posted by Rick on

    This has nothing to do with leadership or the reopening. This is what happens when people hide that they are sick, decide not to isolate and refuse to get tested. If you have any, even one symptom, get tested! If you have been a contact of a positive case get tested! Follow the directions of Public Health! Take Dr. Paterson’s recommendations and restrictions seriously! If you are not part of the solution, you will let the virus spread. COVID doesn’t care if you are rich, poor, holy, healthy or the colour of your skin. COVID spreads because it takes advantage of any denial of personal responsibility. Keep your contacts small, wear a mask in public, stay distanced from people not in your household, wash/sanitize hands often, if sick stay home and contact public health, get tested, cooperate with Public Health, and get vaccinated as soon as you are able with the first vaccine available.

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  11. Posted by Close the town, wait 21 days until last person is recovered on

    If Savikataaq and Patterson stuck with the plan we’d be ready to reopen, covid free.

    Way to go Joe Savikataaq and Dr. Michael Patterson. You broke your own reopening rules. What happened to waiting 21 days after the last case recovers? We were so close to ending this, just 1 case to go, and you both botched it.
    .
    I wish we could vote out a premier because this pandemic was grossly mishandled. There was zero enforcement of social distancing, isolation for essential workers, isolation hubs allowing infected in. Joe’s leadership on this has been very, very poor. He’s a nice man, I like him personally, but the GN under his leadership dropped the ball, many, many times. They botched the Arviat outbreak and now he’s botching the Iqaluit one.
    .
    We need leadership. Shut down the city until 21 days after the final case recovers and stick to the plan or the virus might spread to all of Qik, Kiv and Kit. Instead of 21 days now, this could persist for months if not another year and heaven help us if there’s a mutation/variant that starts here.
    .
    Nunavut’s overcrowded homes are prime breeding areas for viruses. Shut down now until it’s gone or we could be looking at closed schools in September. It’s that simple.

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  12. Posted by No surprise on

    Unvaccinated people, including children, contracted the virus? Surprise. Would keeping the community locked down further prevent this? I would say no. It has not preventing roving bands of kids around town. And being locked down does not prevent ignorant unvaccinated adults from going around either. This is no big deal. Older children will mostly be vaccinated soon and ‘outbreaks’ like this (this is not many people) will be less and less but not unheard of. This virus is not going to evaporate, and we need to learn to live with it now that being vaccinated means low risk of contraction, lower risk of death or hospitalization, and low low risk of spreading to others. We live with active TB patients around us every day and 2-5 violent police standoffs a year, we can and need to get used to handling a few outbreaks a year.

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  13. Posted by Time To Move On on

    Stop the blame game and move on.

    We have had enough vaccine in Nunavut to Vaccinate all the adults, and now we have enough vaccine to vaccinate kids 12 and up.

    Two weeks after the kids vaccination campaign is completed. Its time to move on and open everything back up, and get back to a normal life and live with Covid.

    As long has you have people living in Nunavut whom refuse to vaccinate you will all ways have cases of Covid showing up here.

    Yes people have a right to choose NOT to get vaccinated that’s their choice. HOWEVER why do the people whom have decided to get vaccinated, and follow the rules continued to have to carry the burden of the few that chose not to get vaccinated

    So two weeks after we finish vaccinating all of the 12 and older kids lets move forward opening Nunavut back up. Those whom get sick after this we will deal with on a case by case basis.

    I am no expert, but you do not have to be a rocket scientist to see that Covid in Nunavut is not going to go away any time soon, so we need to learn to live with it.

    If you can not legally force people get vaccinated, then what about the rights for those of us whom did.

    We can not continue to go forward and shut things down every other month. People need to stop the blame game and our Government needs to send a clear message to the people it represents and open Nunavut back up
    “No Strings Attached”

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    • Posted by Ian on

      Yes, cancer is still here and most people smoke, cannot make them quit, diabetes is starting to be a big issue, eat better food, covid is staying in the world and people have an option vaccine or die, simple,

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