COVID-19 cases spike in Pond Inlet while first case presumed in Clyde River

Restrictions won’t ease in Pond Inlet on Monday after all

There were eight cases of COVID-19 reported in Pond Inlet by the Government of Nunavut on Friday. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

On Monday, residents in Pond Inlet won’t see any changes in COVID-19 restrictions after all, which had been the plan only a few days ago.

The change in plans comes after cases of the virus surged in the hamlet throughout the week, Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, announced in a news release on Friday.

“It is not safe to change public health measures in the community at this time,” he said.

On Friday, there were eight cases in Pond Inlet, up from zero on Monday.

“We will continue to assess the situation and I urge community members to follow the public health measures in place and support efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Pond Inlet,” Patterson said.

Also on Friday, a first-ever presumptive case of COVID-19 was reported in Clyde River.

For now, the presumptive case doesn’t change any rules in the hamlet, Patterson said in a news release.

In Pond Inlet, public health restrictions include:

  • Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people.
  • Indoor gatherings in homes are limited to five people plus household members.
  • Indoor public gatherings at community halls and recreation centres are limited to 25 people or 25 per cent capacity.
  • Schools and daycares can stay open.
  • Places of worship are limited to 50 people or 25 per cent capacity, with no singing.
  • Arenas are limited to 25 people or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is less, as well as up to 25 spectators. No team sports are allowed.
  • All non-essential businesses except personal services can stay open.
  • Group counselling sessions are limited to 10 people.
  • Taxis may have one fare per trip, masks mandatory.
  • Parks and playgrounds may open, but buildings remain closed.

For 14 other communities, restrictions are being eased on Monday:

  • Arviat
  • Baker Lake
  • Chesterfield Inlet
  • Clyde River
  • Gjoa Haven
  • Grise Fiord
  • Igloolik
  • Kimmirut
  • Kinngait
  • Kugluktuk
  • Naujaat
  • Qikiqtarjuaq
  • Sanirajak
  • Whale Cove

The eased rules in Igloolik on Monday will be a bit more limited than those being set in the 13 other communities on the list.

The Health Department also announced changes to the isolation hubs in a news release on Friday.

As of Saturday, non-vaccinated and partially vaccinated travellers may isolate in their home community instead of at a hub outside of the territory.

The hubs will then only be used for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated Nunavummiut who test positive for COVID-19 while on medical travel.

Across Nunavut, there were 412 active cases across 19 communities on Friday.

In total, there have been 1,305 recovered COVID-19 cases, 22 hospitalizations and one death since this wave of the virus began in December.

The territorial government has stopped providing case count update on the weekends, so the next tallies will be announced on Monday, Patterson said.

Patterson and Premier P.J. Akeeagok are scheduled to give a COVID-19 update on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

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