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
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.