Health minister urges Iqaluit residents not to hoard as city enters lockdown
Here’s what’s open and what’s not
Iqaluit residents eager to stock up on supplies cleaned out Arctic Ventures’ supply of toilet paper on Thursday, following the previous night’s announcement that the city has its first case of COVID-19.
While this snapshot may resemble a scene from the beginning of the pandemic, the city’s other major store, NorthMart, had no similar shortage, and both stores were mostly well-stocked.
During the day’s COVID-19 news conference, Health Minister Lorne Kusugak asked Iqaluit residents to not rush to the store and begin hoarding supplies.
“We have enough supplies for everyone, the supply chains are not affected,” he said during a news conference Thursday.
With schools and non-essential workplaces shut, there were fewer cars than usual on the city’s streets. Lineups could be seen outside of those businesses that remained open, due to new limits on how many people can enter at a time.
Masks, whose optional usage had slowly fallen off over the last couple of months, are once again back in style, the result of a new mandate, and the familiar smell of hand sanitizer has returned to grace the entrances of the business allowed to remain open.
Among those are grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, restaurants for takeout only, single occupancy taxis, the post office, banks, cleaning services, essential government offices, Inuit organizations, food banks, shelters, dental clinics, emergency services at vet clinics, the Qikiqtani General Hospital and psychologists.
Here is a list of closures, cancellations or postponements that were announced. It will be updated as they are announced:
- Closure of Nunavut Arctic College’s Nunatta campus in Iqaluit (including main campus building, Nunavut Research Institute, residence building and jewelry studios) as programs move to remote learning.
- Closure of all Iqaluit municipal offices to the public until further notice. Essential municipal services will maintain operations for water and sewer delivery, garbage roadside pickup, municipal landfill, road maintenance, municipal enforcement and fire and ambulance emergency services.
- Closure of the Iqaluit Aquatic and Fitness Centre until further notice as well as the Makkuttukkuvik Youth Centre, Elders Qammaq, public playgrounds, municipal parks and arenas.
- Closure of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association offices.
- Closure of the Iqaluit RCMP detachment for non-emergency calls for service along with suspensions of front counter services and criminal record checks.
- Cancellation of all Toonik Tyme events, including snowmobile races, bingo and other scheduled events.
- Cancellation of all movie screenings at the Astro Theatre.
- Closure of the Aqsarniit Dining Room and Lounge to the public until further notice.
- Closure of the beer and wine store on Thursday and Friday.
- Closure of the Piviniit Thrift Store until further notice.
- Suspension of all court sittings in Iqaluit at the Nunavut Court of Justice.
- Postponement of May 1 Alianait concert with Lazarus Qattalik and Aasiva