COVID-19 in Rankin Inlet waste water an ‘unexpected’ sign, Nunavut government says

Test results from mid-August could signal virus’ presence in hamlet, public health official says

The Government of Nunavut confirmed a new case of COVID-19 in Rankin Inlet on Friday. Residents will now be required to wear masks in public places. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

COVID-19 has been detected in waste water in Rankin Inlet, the Government of Nunavut reported Friday.

Dr. Rosann Seviour, Nunavut’s acting chief public health officer, called the test results “unexpected signals” that could mean there are people who have the potentially fatal respiratory virus in Rankin Inlet or who have travelled through the hamlet recently and are unaware of the infection.

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Rankin Inlet, she said in a news release.

Throughout the pandemic, testing waste water in communities has been a method that public health departments across the country have used to help detect the presence of COVID-19 in communities.

Signs of COVID-19 were identified in waste water samples collected in the hamlet on Aug. 17, 18 and 19. Those samples were sent to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg for testing. Results can take up to 10 days to be reported, the release explained.

Nunavut’s Health Department is monitoring the situation and has increased the frequency of tests.

The Health Department called on Rankin Inlet residents to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by staying home when they feel sick, wearing a mask in all indoor public spaces and limiting in-house gatherings.

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(5) Comments:

  1. Posted by Obvi on

    Why was it unexpected? People aren’t wearing masks, there was just a superspreader event that people in the area went to, and if you think everyone that’s supposed to be isolating when they return to Nunavut from down south is actually following through, you’re wrong. The government was surprised, but my first thought was “Huh. That seems about right.”

  2. Posted by Eroding turd hypothesis on

    Maybe someone who had covid in November was really constipated and their turd was so dense it got stuck in a bend in a pipe until months of running water started slowly dissolving it, leading to these positive results on multiple days.


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