Health restrictions easing next Monday across Nunavut — except in Arviat
Territory is 22 per cent of the way to its vaccination goal for the end of March
Every community in Nunavut except for Arviat will soon see schools return to full-time, in-classroom learning, while restaurants, museums and gyms will be allowed to let more people in once public-health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are eased next Monday, March 1.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Nunavummiut for following the public-health measures, because their hard work is one of the key reasons we can make these changes,” Nunavut’s chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, said in a news release Thursday.
All Qikiqtani, Kitikmeot and Kivalliq communities — except Arviat, where a COVID-19 outbreak is ongoing — will see restrictions relaxed.
Schools in Baker Lake, Chesterfield Inlet, Coral Harbour, Rankin Inlet, Naujaat and Whale Cove will move up from Stage 2 to Stage 1 of the school reopening plan.
This means bus schedules will return to normal instead of being staggered and students will be allowed to eat in common areas again, according to the Government of Nunavut’s school opening plan.
It also means a return to full-time learning in classrooms instead of a mix of online and in-person classes for middle and high school students.
All schools in the Qikiqtani and Kitikmeot regions are already in Stage 1 and will stay there on March 1.
Most Kivalliq schools will also open to Stage 1. But in Arviat, where there were 25 active COVID-19 cases on Thursday, schools will remain in Stage 4 — meaning they are closed.
On March 1, all halls, conference spaces, restaurants, bars, theatres, and churches in the Qikiqtani and Kitikmeot regions can increase their capacity to 75 per cent capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.
Gyms, pools, libraries and museums in the two regions will be allowed to have 25 people inside, or 50 per cent of their capacity, whichever is less.
In the Kivalliq region, all public health measures will stay the same except for the school-related changes.
The territory’s vaccine rollout continues, with clinics for first doses scheduled in four more communities and others receiving their second doses in the coming weeks.
As of Monday, 6,977 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 4,110 had received both doses, Danarae Sommerville, a spokesperson with the Health Department, said in an email.
In total, 11,087 doses have been administered across the territory, she said.
This means Nunavut is about 22 per cent of the way to its goal of inoculating 75 per cent of the territory’s adult population of approximately 19,000. The Department of Health’s goal is to have that done by the end of March.
Iqaluit residents who are 45 years and older can schedule vaccine appointments as of March 1, as part of the city’s ongoing vaccination clinic, which is being done by priority group.
On Tuesday, Health Minister Lorne Kusugak said over 1,100 doses of the Moderna vaccine have already been given to Iqaluit residents.