First wave of self-isolated Nunavummiut return to territory this weekend

George Hickes, Nunavut’s minister of health, says that the first wave of residents set to return to the territory this weekend after self-isolating in southern Canada may find that home seems unfamiliar. “It’s not normal anymore,” he said at a news conference on Thursday, April 9. Hickes said he knows that Nunavummiut will want to visit, but that “cruising around in a car with your friends is not social distancing. Going to visit extended family is not social distancing.” He said the coming weeks are critical “in our path forward as a territory.” By April 13, 286 residents who have been self-isolating in one of four southern hubs are due home. That includes FANS students and medical travel patients. They will arrive on four charter flights and two commercial flights. The Government of Nunavut says that residents who have been in isolation will be rigorously tested before they get approval to return, and they have to follow the isolation agreements they signed until they arrive home. (Photo by Meagan Deuling)

By Meagan Deuling

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Why u dum on

    This is how we will get coved in Nunavut…the territory government is going to bring it in. Going to take 3 weeks to diagnose so the first case will be reported, on April 30. Good Job government of Nunavut, good job. Keep them out

    • Posted by Wow on

      You were right on the money!

  2. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    I agree that the ability to do on the spot testing and get an immediate positive or negative test result will be vital as we move forward.
    In the absence of having this test available, having returning students isolate under strict conditions is the next best alternative.
    It is not like these people are tourists, they are Nunavut residents trying to return home. It is a risk but the GN is taking reasonable precautions in the absence of having a test available that could give immediate results.
    According to Vile Donnie Trump the U.S. Now has a test available which will produce results in 15 minutes. Of course every time VD opens his mouth he spews out one lie after another, so who knows for sure. Maybe the GN should wait for this sort of testing to be available. Maybe it exists only in Vile Donnie’s demented mind.
    I vociferously oppose requiring absent teachers to go back, there is no overpowering need as the balance of the school year will be cancelled. To do otherwise would be the height of stupidity.
    I do however believe that the students need to be returned to their home communities, and it is not for economic reasons, as the GN could continue to fund them if required. My rationale is that the students, almost all young adults need to be close to family at this difficult time. The southern provinces may well open up in the next few months. I think possibly the end of June, but it will depend on a number of factors. Nunavut may be a lot later, especially if it remains virus free because having Covid-19 loose in Nunavut would be devastating.
    This is a very difficult time mentally and emotionally for all of us, we need to do everything in our power to make it as easy as possible for these young adults, especially as they will be the leaders of tomorrow.
    This is, I hope, a once in a lifetime occurrence, and it will profoundly change our society. If we look after individual members of society, especially the vulnerable, we will get through these troubled times.

    • Posted by Why u dum on

      Old trapper, Nunavut resident or not. Keep them out, or it will be here. .

      Old trapper, face time works good and is safer. Keep them out

      • Posted by The Old Trapper on

        For these few Nunavut residents, I respectfully disagree. These are individuals, mostly young people who have been in southern Canada for post secondary education. They have been away from family and friends for a considerable length of time. Through no fault of their own they are now isolated and cut off from both their educational opportunity, and from their families.
        Young adults are the most at risk group for suicide. These young people’s future is now in jeopardy and we as a society should try to assist them as much as possible. The best way that we can help them at this time is to reunite them with their families and with their long standing support network in their home community.
        You are correct that this is not without risk. The 14 day quarantine is a good attempt to mitigate this risk. Should more be done? Probably. I would like to see a Covid-19 test done on the students when they arrive at the hotel, probably one at day 7, and another at day 14. Throw in the return flight being on a chartered flight leaving from a FBO or the airline’s hangar.
        No system will be perfect but the risk can be mitigated to where it should be safe for these few people to return. Remember theses are some of the best that Nunavut has to offer, we should show them that we care about their physical and mental welfare.

  3. Posted by George on

    Self isolated for 14-days? That’s no guarantee that one or more of them might test positive and be a carrier, even without symptoms. But they’re not being tested, are they? It’s just assumed that after 14-days they will be safe to return home. This is a dangerous assumption.
    Will they be exposed to the virus on the way to the airport? On the flight home?

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