GN makes ‘urgent’ plea for Chartroom staff, patrons on April 14 to get COVID-19 test

Anyone at Iqaluit bar that day faces ‘higher risk’ of exposure to COVID-19

There are 12 new cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut, Premier Joe Savikataaq said on Thursday. (Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

By Nunatsiaq News

The Government of Nunavut made an “urgent” appeal Saturday night to all patrons and staff of Iqaluit’s Chartroom Lounge on April 14, specifically, to book a COVID-19 test. The Health Department said people who were there that day face a “higher risk of exposure to COVID-19.”

It followed an earlier advisory to alert people who had been at the bar between April 10 and 14 of “potential exposure.” Last week, the GN recommended people who were there during that period to self-monitor for symptoms of infection for 14 days following their last visit. And anyone with symptoms was advised to self-isolate and schedule a COVID-19 test.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Self-isolation involves staying at home and avoiding other people.

Saturday’s advisory narrowed the focus to a specific day, calling on patrons and staff who were there to call the COVID hotline at 1-888-975-8601 to arrange testing.

On Sunday the Government of Nunavut raised its tally of COVID-19 cases in Iqaluit to 42, following the detection of seven new cases.

That brings the capital’s total to 42 and Nunavut’s number of active cases to 47.

No new cases were reported Sunday in Kinngait, where one recovery was reported, leaving three active cases, or in Rankin Inlet, where there are two active cases, according to an update Premier Joe Savikataaq posted on Twitter.

The advisory to Chartroom staff and customers came at the end of a week of COVID-19-related developments in Iqaluit and across Nunavut.

Iqaluit’s Storehouse Bar and Grill had been earlier identified as a site of potential COVID-19 exposure last week by the Health Department.

And on Friday, the GN also placed Nunavut-wide restrictions on restaurants and bars as COVID-19 case count climbed.

The GN will hold news conference and update on COVID-19 in the territory Monday at 11 a.m., which will be streamed on the Nunavut legislative channel.

The news conference is also broadcast on Bell ExpressVu channel 513, Shaw satellite channel 181 or 489 on the classic lineup package, local cable channel 5 (analog) or 602 (digital) and on local radio in Iqaluit at 92.5 FM

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(17) Comments:

  1. Posted by Harry on

    Might of been a good idea to have included Iqaluit right from the beginning for the vaccination rollout instead of leaving it for last, hopefully it hasn’t spread too much but this urgency doesn’t sound so good.

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  2. Posted by So little information on

    No information about variants, no information about how this happened in the first place, no comment by GN about no enforcement and rampant disregard of the orders. So much for transparent public health.

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  3. Posted by Airport staff on

    It’s great they have finally started identifying places of exposure. There have been two airport staff identified as COVID positive since April 14th, both have openly made social media posts saying they were positive. One works at CATSA and one is a cashier at Tundra Takeout. Hopefully soon they do more contact tracing for the airport as both of these people only starting isolating in the last 7 days, they were working until symptomatic from April 13 – 19. Both are front line staff 🙁

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  4. Posted by Name withheld on

    All this is Iqaluit and no known contact tracing exposure either at the Legion or B&W store, restaurants?

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  5. Posted by Erin Grey on

    Den out the door after a few grog and wander over to the beer store then hop in a cab and go home. Visit the relatives, play a little rummy and then back to the Chartroom. Who would have thought?

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    • Posted by Name withheld on

      You don’t get my post… The individuals who tested positive before they knew must have went to the B&W store, Legion or restaurant to eat, grab a beer or play neveda so my question is normal when I asked if those individuals have gone to any of the places I mentioned

  6. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    A common practice in Ontario has been to log all visitors to bars, restaurants, hair salons, barber shops, etc. Well at least the few weeks that these establishments have been open the last few months.
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    This type of activity to allow contract tracing should be in place at just about every establishment be it a grocery store, hair salon, hardware store, etc.
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    Many people go on about their “freedoms” but forget that in an open society we also have “responsibilities” and I would argue that a system of tracking during a pandemic would not violate your “freedoms”. There should be ways to keep the information sealed unless it is needed for tracing.

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  7. Posted by Baffin on

    Ok now to do more rapid pop up testing!
    Nova Scotia did 2000 in 2 days
    So maybe Dr Patterson
    It’s time to get your team to do more that a few hundred more❣️

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    • Posted by Nunavut Is Doing Well on

      So, 2,000 a day from a population of about a million, compared to a few hundred from a population of 41,000 or thereabouts.

      With the raw population difference, combined with the population density, and the availability of trained staff on a per capita basis Nunavut is doing really well. Particularly when one considers that NS has the HRM and the medical infrastructure there, and Nunavut doesn’t have anything remotely comparable.

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      • Posted by Nunavut Unprepared on

        The department of health has done next to nothing in 14 months to improve health infrastructure in the territory. I expected more.

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        • Posted by Not How the GN Works on

          The Dept of Health can only ‘improve infrastracture’ based on the priorities set by cabinet and which are funded by the leg and carried out by CGS and others.

          What infrastructure do you want? More health centres built? Get the leg to fund it, then get CGS to get started on it.

          The Dept of Health is very limited in what it can do regarding infrastructure – that responsibility belongs to others.

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          • Posted by Semantics on

            So I guess given the process in the government financial Administration there is no one accountable from Department of Health and that is the end if it. Right.
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            I was expecting them to properly staff the hospital. Properly ensure we have enough people who can operate ventilators. Ensure sufficient people can do contract tracing, not take almost two weeks to tell us about potential infection spots. Rapid testing for essential workers entering Nunavut. Develop policy to let people isolate at home so they can travel to the south for elective medical. Stuff like that. With the amount of money handed over to Canadian North they probably could have added a wing to the hospital but I won’t say I expected that.
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            No, it’s no one’s fault. Typical GN apologist. I guess will fall in line and accept that this is the best we can do.

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            • Posted by Lottery Anyone on

              Okay, so we’re talking staffing not infrastructure now.

              Well, if you can figure out how to make Nunavut and the GN a desirable employer for health personnel there are lots of folks who’d love to hear from you. Simple fact is, Nunavut is not at the top of anyone’s list for job hunters.

              You figure out how to make Nunavut a come to place for workers like that, it will be like winning the lottery.

              Simple fact is, as the end of the day, everything that happens in Health is the responsibility of the minister. What initiatives has he led to to deal with the concerns that you have raised? Perhaps you should write him and ask?

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            • Posted by Start at the Right Place on

              Apologist, no. Person who is often disgusted by how the GN doesn’t function? Yes.

              Person who understand how government functions? Yes.

              Simple fact is that the premier and ministers set the direction, priorities, and tone of their departments. If what you’ve highlighted have not been done by Health (I strongly disagree with your assertion, but that is neither here nor there), then it is a failing of the minister. If he directed that these things be done and they weren’t – again, his responsibility to hold feet to the fire.

              Don’t complain about the people carrying out the decisions – hold those making the decisions accountable. There are two of them – start there.

          • Posted by Dr Who on

            Will, the cabinet handed over millions to the airline with essential workers. Maybe it would of been better spent on their health department for more staff to plan and prepare and have the capacity to do more testing for people travelling up here. Who decides on giving millions for a airline but not improve its own health system?

            • Posted by Could Be on

              Possibly, yep, but not a decision for anyone in Health .

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