COVID-19 arrives in Qikiqtarjuaq
Hamlet of 650 is fifth Nunavut community to confirm disease since Dec. 20
Qikiqtarjuaq is the latest Nunavut hamlet where COVID-19 has been detected, bringing to five the number of communities where the illness has been reported since Dec. 20.
A single case was confirmed in Qikiqtarjuaq, a hamlet of approximately 650 people on the north side of Baffin Island, Nunavut’s chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson announced in a news release Tuesday.
There are 37 active cases of the respiratory illness across the territory, the release states. There are 20 in Iqaluit, five in Pangnirtung, 10 in Rankin Inlet and one in each of Sanirajak and Qikiqtarjuaq. The Government of Nunavut had reported 20 active cases on Monday and eight on Friday.
“The more communities affected by COVID-19, the greater the pressure on our health-care system,” Patterson said.
It is “difficult” for Nunavut to manage several outbreaks at the same time because of the territory’s infrastructure and limited resources, he said.
Stricter public health rules Patterson imposed last week — which put the territory into another lockdown — will remain in effect until at least Jan. 7. Travel restrictions are in place for Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Pangnirtung. Travel to and from those communities is restricted to essential purposes and for people returning to their home community or returning to southern Canada.
Patterson and Premier P.J. Akeeagok are scheduled to provide an update on the territory’s COVID-19 situation Wednesday at 11 a.m.