Iqaluit’s Aqsarniit Illiniarvik will be open on Monday for students in Cohort A, but members of Cohort B will be tested for COVID-19. The results of those tests will determine whether those students will be permitted to return to school on Tuesday, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, said Sunday. (File photo)

Aqsarniit school open Monday for Cohort A, while Cohort B to be tested for COVID-19

Government of Nunavut announces plan after two students tested positive over the weekend

By Nunatsiaq News

Aqsarniit Ilinniarvik School will be open Monday to students who belong to the middle school’s Cohort A, while a decision will be made about in-person classes for Cohort B after its students are tested for COVID-19, Nunavut’s chief public health officer said Sunday.

Dr. Michael Patterson issued a statement to explain the Government of Nunavut’s plan after two people from the school tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. Both of them are in the group known as Cohort B, one of two groups that students have been divided into for alternate-day in-person learning.

They had been in class last Monday and Wednesday and they wore masks during their time in the school, based on the school’s rules, Patterson said.

Test swabs will be collected from their classmates and contacts on Monday and results made available later in the day. If all the swabs from classmates are negative, students in Cohort B will be allowed to return to school on Tuesday, Patterson said.

If any of the tests are positive for COVID-19, the Health Department will reassess the school-opening plan for Tuesday, he added.

For other schools, “the risk is deemed low” and Patterson recommended they remain open under Stage 3, and follow the established protocols. No changes to child care facilities are anticipated, Patterson said.

In addition to the two Aqsarniit-related COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend, the GN reported a third case, which brought Nunavut’s number of active cases to nine — all of them in Iqaluit.

On Monday, it will be two months since Iqaluit’s first-ever COVID-19 case was reported. The 8,300 residents of Nunavut’s capital city had been under a lockdown for most of that time, with some workplace restrictions eased on June 3 and some personal services, such as hair and beauty salons, being permitted to reopen last Friday.

Nunavut’s case count had been coming down gradually over the past month. Last Monday, it dropped to a single case but crept up again when new cases were reported late last week.

Over the weekend, the total number of Canadians who have had COVID-19 passed the 1.4 million mark, according to the federal government’s COVID-19 update website. But the number of active cases continued to drop, falling below 17,000 on Sunday after peaking at nearly 90,000 in April. There have been 25,931 deaths in Canada in the past year and a half.

Government of Nunavut officials are scheduled to provide an update on the territory’s COVID-19 situation on Monday morning from the legislative assembly.

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(12) Comments:

  1. Posted by Woopy the Underdog on

    I hope a vote of no confidence for the Premier and his CPHO henchman is put through in the legislature and they are removed if Iqaluit finds itself again with lots of cases. They could have been forgiven for opening too early but now they are being to proud to admit their mistake.

    • Posted by other way around on

      Look at the big picture and you will see the Premier and Dr. Patterson have done an amazing job with this fight against Covid. In Canada alone take a quick look at Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta. Beyond that look at most of the planet and you will see Little tiny NU has done an AMAZING job.

      Keep up the great work Premier Savikataaq and Dr. Patterson

  2. Posted by Long Covid on

    What about those with Long Covid? How come we hear absolutely nothing about the number of Nunavummiut with Long Term Covid Effects?
    What is Nunavut’scapacity to care for and treat those suffering from the long term effects of COVID-19?

  3. Posted by Old Timer on

    So there was two cases on Friday from the school and your waiting till Monday to do the testing? Something not right spreading the virus first for 3 days or more and waiting till Monday ?dumb

  4. Posted by Ches on

    To boost the vax Moscow is giving free cars, come in take a vaccination, name is entered in a draw.

  5. Posted by John K on

    Thank you so so soooo much for the needless exposure. I can console myself in the knowledge that you got to pretend you cared about children’s mental health for a week.

    We’re all back to work so it’s too late to backtrack now, I’m sure. If the isolation hubs are extended back to everyone because of this I’m just going to stay in the south. If I have to live where I’m ruled by idiots I want Big Macs.

    • Posted by Iqaluit Man on

      This is the best comment ever. How true!

  6. Posted by Cohort Bs on

    I think there were many students in Cohorts A and B – I believe all grade sixes to grade eights were divided – so its not really clear whether all Cohort Bs were exposed – it could have been one class or grade of Cohort B that was potentially exposed

  7. Posted by Cashflow Joe on

    Almost a year and a half of covid and were still listening to these so-called leaders who were expected to bow down to and never question what teyre saying?

    I call and demand an immediately resignation from Dr. P for bankrupting Nunavut due to his arbitrary covid measures effecting live of Nunavimmiut . We listened we got vaccine we listened we did lockdown ALL FOR NOTHING?

    I will like to protest lockdown at the Leg in Iqaluit whose with me?

  8. Posted by Iqaluit, Center of the Universe on

    Meanwhile the rest of Nunavut, which is totally COVID FREE all have to “WeAr MaSkS!” as if the fact that is is lurking in Iqaluit means it is lurking a 1,000 miles away across the Hudson strait… what a joke. You know damn well that if it was anywhere else we’d be having BBQ’s by now and not putting on the BS safety theatre. What a bunch of damned patsy’s.

    • Posted by anon on

      Gee, it’s almost like the removal of travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Nunavummiut means that people will be traveling out of their home communities in the rest of Nunavut, including through Iqaluit, to southern Canada, and then back into the territory! And it’s even more almost like CPHO wanted to prevent any potential transmission that could occur from travelers to unvaccinated Nunavummiut! GASP.

  9. Posted by Simply Confused!!! on

    I don’t understand how their test was negative, I recall when I was received a call that I was likely expose to Covid for being in the same place as one who tested positive, When I requested for the test, they told me that I could not get the testing done until after 5-7 days of likely being exposed as it if I did it within a day or two it would show false negative!!!

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