COVID-19 cases surpass 300 in Nunavut

Mass pediatric vaccine clinics coming to 16 communities

There were a total of 320 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut on Friday. (Graphic by Mélanie Ritchot)

By Nunatsiaq News

Nunavut’s active COVID-19 case count has passed the 300 mark for the first time since the current wave of the pandemic began.

On Friday, 320 cases were confirmed in the territory, with Igloolik, Iqaluit and Cambridge Bay reporting the most cases.

Igloolik had 64 cases on Friday, one week after the hamlet’s first two cases were reported. With a population of 1,978, this means about three per cent of the community’s residents are known to have COVID-19. This count does not include people who are diagnosed based on symptoms.

Nunavut’s 320 cases by community:

  • Arviat — 23
  • Baker Lake — 31
  • Cambridge Bay — 37
  • Chesterfield Inlet — 1
  • Coral Harbour — 16
  • Igloolik — 64
  • Iqaluit — 42
  • Kinngait — 16
  • Kugluktuk — 2
  • Naujaat — 5
  • Pond Inlet — 7
  • Rankin Inlet — 21
  • Sanikiluaq — 28
  • Sanirajak — 5
  • Taloyoak — 16
  • Whale Cove — 6

Igloolik has the lowest vaccination rate in the territory with 54 per cent of eligible residents having both doses, according to the Government of Nunavut’s most recent data, updated on Jan. 25.

Iqaluit and Cambridge Bay on the other hand, have some of the highest vaccination rates in Nunavut, but also have larger populations.

In Iqaluit, 89 per cent of eligible residents have at least two shots of the vaccine, and in Cambridge Bay, 75 per cent have received two doses.

Mass pediatric vaccine clinics were announced for 16 communities on Thursday.

The vaccine clinics will be for youth five to 11 who have already received their first shot to get their second dose, a Health Department news release states.

Sixteen communities will have mass vaccination clinics in February. (Table by Mélanie Ritchot)

In Iqaluit, a walk-in booster vaccine clinic will be held at the Qikiqtani General Hospital on Jan. 29 from 11. am. to 4 p.m.

Health Minister John Main said on Thursday that the communities without mass vaccine clinics scheduled will have vaccines available by appointment.

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(19) Comments:

  1. Posted by brendan on

    Iqaluit can’t seem to shake this virus. Keep getting cases.

    • Posted by Tim on

      On top of that the schools are starting at 100% capacity this Monday, the numbers will be going up some more for sure.
      I don’t understand the premature back to work, schools opening when the numbers are still so high.
      I am hoping no one gets seriously sick, we’ve had one death so far.

      • Posted by not amused on

        I totally agree, far too early to open schools and that the restriction was lifted too early -that’s Minister of Health, Dr. Patterson & Minister of Education for you. Just my 2 cents

    • Posted by JOHNNY on


      • Posted by Pandemonic Prophet on

        Everybody getting their shots won’t make it go away. I bet most of the cases are “breakthrough” cases (but probably not most of the hospitalizations).

        But if you are over 30, obese or have a medical condition that makes you more vulnerable, definitely get your shots.

  2. Posted by Is there a plan? on

    Yet the vast majority of us are double vaccinated (if you go by the GN’s #’s) and wearing our masks everywhere…
    Neither the Minister of Health nor Dr. Patterson has not provided any indication of what their plan is on lifting the restrictions here in Iqaluit. What more can we do?

    • Posted by worried mama on

      They lifted school restrictions and a teacher got sick at the middle school and that is just what they found so far. Sure you want to lift restrictions?

      • Posted by Plan on

        Yes. They tell us there’s a lot less chance of getting really sick if we have our shots so why not? We’ll have to start sometime so when will it be? That’s what we’re not hearing from the authorities.

        • Posted by I don’t like people like you ‘plan’ man on

          A lot of children haven’t had both their shots yet. So nice you are volunteering them for your open up plan. Clearly you have no concern for the children.

          • Posted by Sorry no kids on

            Who’s responsible for kids not having both shots? Is it the Health department for not making them available? Again, the point of my comment is what is the plan to open up? Do we wait until everyone in Iqaluit has both shots, or 3? Or is it all of Nunavut?

            • Posted by anon on

              It’s because kids 5-11 have only just become eligible for their second shot. The earliest the second dose could be administered was starting this week. It takes 2 weeks for full effectiveness.

          • Posted by Pandemonic Prophet on

            For most kids this is less of a threat than the flu.

            I certainly hope at-risk kids are getting vaccinated off-label. It’s being done elsewhere. That would be a good question for the media to ask the GN.

    • Posted by Pandemonic Prophet on

      We definitely need a plan if they want to continue restrictions. We need a full accounting of what we are sacrificing with the restrictions and how effective they really are in light of Omicron. We are tearing our society apart and destroying the economy. It’s unsustainable.

      They should also demonstrate why focused protection won’t achieve the objectives just as well. Health care system overload is the only reason for restrictions at this point, but it needs to be substantiated. I think they’ve been reasonable over the last month.

  3. Posted by I live in the Arctic on

    c’mon fellow Nunavummiut this is up to each of us, social distance, wash your hands, wear masks, get the shots.

  4. Posted by Turn down for what on

    Why aren’t we closed down again when it’s clearly getting worse?

  5. Posted by Real numbers on

    Would be nice to see the real numbers communities are dealing with. These so called case count numbers announced by
    the GN should be compared to the case counts announced by the local health centers. I would be curious to see if Patterson would do anything different if he and the rest of Nunavut saw the actual numbers per community.

    If half the community is being assumed covid positive, and a quarter of the community is isolating does it really make sense to have schools be open at so called 100% capacity when we are being urged not to visit with those outside of our house holds.

    In addition, the GN offices are not allowing any public entry but yet schools are being forced to function at 100% capacity. Nothing in that decision by the government makes any sense!

    Can nunatsiaq publish positive covid case numbers from the community and put them besides GNs numbers by community and see what the difference is between the two?

    Also, where are all the exposure notices?? People are flying into communities with covid but we are not being made aware of flights with exposure notices any more.

    Let’s see real case count numbers and reassess what position Nunavut really is at!

  6. Posted by Long COVID on

    The concern is not so much the people getting COVID. The concern is that about 20% of those who get COVID develop Long COVID.
    Long COVID can be very debilitating, for a long time. Not a whole lot is known about Long COVID. It seems to be an awakening of those conditions that the person has a genetic likelihood of developing.
    There has not, to my knowledge, been any disclosure of the number of Nunavummiut diagnosed with Long COVID. But it has the potential to swamp the Health Care system in Nunavut.
    Stay safe.

    • Posted by Pandemonic Prophet on

      Good question!

      I believe part of Long Covid is similar to the prolonged aftereffects of any serious illness. Get a really bad flu that knocks you flat for two weeks and you won’t be 100% for a while.

      But there are a small number of cases that do turn into something truly awful and chronic. As you suggest, there may have been something genetic triggered by the virus or the immune system.

      Are you suggesting we keep restrictions until we find an effective treatment? What if that takes 10 years?

  7. Posted by Mother on

    The spread of co-vid at BCC in Iqaluit is now out of control. Inmates were not allowed to call out for three days. Family and their children do not know what is going on with their loved ones.


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