COVID-19 restrictions to ease in 15 Nunavut communities

Schools in Baker Lake and Kinngait to open at full capacity on Monday

Recreation centre in Kugluktuk.

Public indoor gatherings in places like recreation centres in 15 communities will be allowed to accommodate 50 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less, staring on Monday. Kugluktuk’s recreation centre is seen here. (Photo by Dustin Patar)

By Mélanie Ritchot

Residents in 15 Nunavut communities will see eased public health restrictions and two more communities’ schools will open at full capacity on Monday.

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, made the announcement during a COVID-19 update on Tuesday.

“After assessing the outbreak situation across the territory, we will be easing public health measures in many communities to allow for larger public gatherings and more visitors in homes,” he said.

Restaurants and licensed businesses will also be allowed to open.

Masks will still be mandatory in all communities and non-essential travel is still discouraged.

Monday’s changes will apply to the following communities:

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

Outdoor gathering limits will go up to 50 people and indoor limits will increase to 10 people plus household members. Public indoor gatherings will increase to 50 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less.

Restaurants and bars will be able to host 25 people or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is less, with no singing or dancing allowed.

Gyms will still only allow solo workouts, but will be open to 25 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less. The same limits will be in place for pools, libraries, museums and galleries, with no group tours allowed.

Arenas will be allowed to hold 50 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less, as well as a maximum of 50 spectators.

Churches and places of worship are limited to 50 people or 25 per cent capacity, with no singing allowed.

Long-term care facilities will be allowed to let in two visitors per resident from their immediate family.

People in Igloolik will see a different set of changes in restrictions on Monday, including the reopening of schools and daycares.

Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people and indoor gatherings will be limited to five people, plus household members.

Indoor public gatherings, including events held at community halls and recreation centres and galleries, will be limited to 25 people or 25 per cent capacity.

Churches and places of worship are limited to 50 people or 25 per cent capacity with no singing allowed.

Arenas will be limited to 25 people or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is less, with a maximum of 25 spectators. Team sports still will not be allowed.

All non-essential businesses except personal services like hairdressers will be allowed to open and group counselling sessions will be allowed to continue with a limit of 10 people.

Parks and playgrounds will reopen, but buildings must stay closed.

Lastly, taxis may have one fare per trip as long as the passenger wears a mask.

Public health measures will not change in Arctic Bay, Cambridge Bay, Coral Harbour, Iqaluit, Kugaaruk, Pangnirtung, Rankin Inlet, Resolute, Sanikiluaq and Taloyoak.

Patterson reminded Nunavummiut to continue to wear masks, get vaccinated and keep their social bubbles as small as possible.

On Monday, the schools in Baker Lake and Kinngait will also open at 100 per cent capacity, according to a news release from the Government of Nunavut.

Patterson said the change is being made because the COVID-19 case counts in both communities have been steadily improving, showing a reduced risk of transmission.

There were 12 active cases in Baker Lake on Tuesday and 13 in Kinngait.

Across Nunavut, 352 cases were active on Tuesday with a total of 1,237 recoveries, 19 hospitalizations and one death logged since the start of the Omicron wave of the pandemic in mid-December.

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Nunavuumiutaq on

    As case counts continue to climb, I wish we can have up to date case count numbers announced.

    Either from the local or territory level. Our community reported no new cases at the press conference but we see all over social media that there are multiple people/families/households who tested positive.

    Why the huge discrepancy ?

    Why not be in the know and not make the numbers look pretty.
    Lets see communities reporting actual numbers!

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    • Posted by Maybe Just Yes/No on

      Either report accurate numbers or don’t report numbers at all, right? What’s the point of reporting X number of confirmed cases when even the GN knows that it’s not accurate, it just diminishes trust.

  2. Posted by Inutuqaaq on

    With schools going 100% capacity and kids being more vulnerable than adults, why do places of worship and public gatherings kept so low? And kids making all the noise they want, why no singing allowed in churches? Doctor Patterson must have something about spiritual gatherings…

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  3. Posted by Iqalummiutaq on

    Schools in Iqaluit have been open 100% for a few weeks. So why the delay in opening restaurants, bars and theater?

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  4. Posted by The Sooner the Better on

    Its time to stop with all the testing and all the numbers.
    All the efforts and focus should be on promoting the benefits of being vaccinated and boosted
    Its time to show the people whom followed all the rules that it was worth it. This stupid format of opening things halfway up and no Singing Touching or Farting is antiquated, and needs to go.
    OPEN EVERTHING UP !!
    Stop playing the numbers game. If you developed flu/cold like symptoms and went to the hospital in the past before Covid, they would tell you to go home take Tylenol/Advil and stay hydrated and stay home. If the symptoms get worst in a few days come back. Isn’t this the standard prescription now for Covid/Omicron
    Time to set a date and a precedence on abolishing these restrictions.

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  5. Posted by Cam Bay on

    How come Cam Bay is included in the easing of restrictions? I know its not due to science. let get over this lock down mentality. whos keeping us from the general easing?

  6. Posted by Milk It While You Can on

    Time for Nunavut Officials to turn on the TV and see what the rest of Canadian Provinces & Territories are doing.
    The only people that want the continued testing and restrictions are the ones that have been getting paid to stay home for the past two years, and there has been a lot of them.
    Milk It While You Can Its Coming To An End

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