COVID-19 detected in Naujaat
Disease is present in 18 of Nunavut’s 25 communities, Patterson says
Naujaat is the latest Nunavut community where COVID-19 has been detected, as the number of communities where the disease is present grew on Saturday and the number of confirmed cases inched up.
The territory’s chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson reported five new confirmed cases in a statement issued Saturday, bringing the territory’s active caseload to 133. That’s an increase of five over the number of cases on Friday.
Patterson also reported a presumptive case in Naujaat, meaning a person is believed to have been infected but it has not been confirmed yet through testing.
At the beginning of January, the rapid spread of the Omicron variant forced Nunavut to stop testing every person who showed symptoms. Because of household spread, the government now considers people who show symptoms and who live in the same house as someone whose case has been confirmed to have the disease themselves — without being tested.
The government stopped testing every person to relieve pressure on health-care staff who do testing for COVID-19 in addition to other illnesses. A presumptive case in Naujaat, a hamlet of about 1,100 in the northeastern part of the Kivalliq region, means COVID-19 is known or suspected to be in 18 of the territory’s 25 communities. Presumptive cases recently reported in Gjoa Haven, Kugaaruk and Taloyoak are also still awaiting confirmation through test results.
At the same time, to show how quickly Omicron spreads, the government began reporting communities — such as Naujaat — where COVID-19 has been detected even before test results confirm it.
On Saturday, the government reported confirmed active cases in the following communities:
- Arviat — 8
- Baker Lake — 13
- Cambridge Bay — 10
- Chesterfield Inlet —5
- Coral Harbour — 12
- Iqaluit — 21
- Kinngait — 16
- Pangnirtung — 5
- Pond Inlet — 1
- Qikiqtarjuaq — 1
- Rankin Inlet — 27
- Sanirajak — 5
- Sanikiluaq — 1
- Whale Cove — 8
- Taloyoak — 0 (1 presumptive case)
- Gjoa Haven — 0 (1 presumptive case)
- Kugaaruk — 0 (1 presumptive case)
- Naujaat — 0 (1 presumptive case)
Patterson and Premier P.J. Akeeagok are scheduled to provide a public update on the territory’s COVID-19 situation on Tuesday at 11 a.m., eastern time, which will be streamed from the legislative assembly.