Nunavut’s COVID-19 cases jumped from two to 15 over the weekend, with all cases reported in Arviat, the community hit hardest by the first wave of COVID-19 in Nunavut. Restrictions are tightening immediately, says Dr. Michael Patterson. (File photo)

Health restrictions tightened in Arviat as 13 more COVID-19 cases reported

Premier calls on hamlet’s residents to be “more vigilant than ever”

By Mélanie Ritchot

Public health restrictions in Arviat were tightened Sunday after Nunavut’s Health Department reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 in the hamlet, bringing its total caseload to 15.

Travel to and from the community is restricted, schools are closed, all gatherings and non-essential services are suspended and indoor gatherings are restricted to household members only, said Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer in a news release on Jan. 24.

Sunday was the third consecutive day new cases were reported — following one each on Friday and Saturday. They came after nearly a month of no new cases being detected in the entire territory.

All Nunavut’s active cases are in Arviat, the community hit hardest after the potentially fatal respiratory disease arrived in the territory in November. One Arviat man died of COVID-19 in December. The hamlet has recorded 236 cases in total, accounting for 84 per cent of the territory’s total of 280 cases.

“Arviammiut have always shown their resilience and adaptability,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq.

“I am proud of everyone in my home community, and ask that you remain more vigilant than ever.”

The cluster of new cases involves multiple households and contact tracing is ongoing to find out how the cases are linked. All individuals are asymptomatic, doing well and are isolating, stated the news release.

Nunavut’s Rapid Response Team is supporting the community’s health team remotely and more support should arrive in the community by Tuesday.

The Health Department asked anyone who has travelled to and from Arviat since Jan. 19 to limit their contacts and self-monitor for symptoms.

There are still doses of the Moderna vaccine available in Arviat and residents can call the health centre to make an appointment.

Over 850 Arviat residents have been inoculated since the clinics began in the community on Jan. 13.

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(16) Comments:

  1. Posted by ilisapirjuaq on

    I am so glad that follow-up testing is being done in Arviat!! 15 cases is not good but, it could have been a much higher number if there had been no further testing during January. If we had waited until someone got sick enough to report to the Arviat Health Centre with covid-19 symptoms, the virus could have spread extensively through our community in the meantime.. Schools had been set to open to students tomorrow, January 25, but now they will not. I think restrictions have been imposed again just in time to prevent an even bigger number of cases occuring! We must stay strong and united as a community and recognize how well we responded to covid-19 in November and December and believe that we will follow the guidelines and work together and defeat covid-19 again!! Also, if you are an adult and did not get vaccinated yet, please call the Health Centre and get your vaccination asap.

    • Posted by Kostas Thorne on

      How much follow-up testing were they actually doing?

      I thought they had a dogmatic opposition to testing asymptomatic people, except possibly for purposes of contact tracing?

      In a place like Arviat where there are so many young people in such crowded conditions, isn’t asymptomatic spread going to be the rule?

  2. Posted by Nunavut man on

    I guess the big questions are:
    1) Who flew out of/to Arviat after the January 11th flight restrictions were lifted?
    2) Did any of the people have the virus?
    3) To which communities did they travel?

    • Posted by Uvangalu on

      Good questions.

      Add Q: does the 5 limit mean 5 new people each and every day?

      In one week that means 35 people contact outside of the one household, not including each of those households who also are allowed 5 each day.

  3. Posted by Northern Guy on

    There you have it folks. The surge after the holidays. People thought they had this beat, let their guard down and voila a whole new outbreak! I predict that this will get far worse before it gets better. Mandatory testing should be considered as well as contact tracing for anyone who traveled outside the community.

    • Posted by Concerned on

      elsewhere waste water is tested and so perhaps that should be done in the communities or villages

  4. Posted by Nunavummiut on

    We are in this together with Arviat, please stay safe, take precautions, and start getting better, our prayers are with you and hope you get well soon!

  5. Posted by Darren on

    The Moderna vaccine CANNOT give you the virus it is 100% impossible because it does not contain the virus, only a sequence of the virus related to the spike protein. Not a full cell that can replicate, it is IMPOSSIBLE, please read about vaccines before posting anything that may scare people into considering not getting a vaccine that is by far our best weapon to stop COVID and get back to our lives.

  6. Posted by Paul Murphy on

    Perhaps it is time for Nunatsiaq News to start vetting for ill informed, fear mongering, like Erin’s post above.
    Time to delete rather that post these type of messages.

    • Posted by ilisapirjuaq on

      I agree!

    • Posted by be yourself on

      100% agree Paul. For far too long NN has been a platform for some to spread fake news, hate, ignorance, and intolerance. They should be held accountable for their words and NN for continuing to turn a blind eye to it.

      NN SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Posted by Infowars? on

    Where did you get the idea that someone can get the virus from a vaccine? Do your “news” sources include Infowars, Alex Jones, The Daily Caller and Breitbart, by any chance?
    Stop spreading lies, there’s already enough of those circulating on Facebook. Let’s not start spreading misinformation on Nunatsiaq too.

  8. Posted by support on

    We are all behind Arviat recovering once again.

    That being said, 2 weeks from today there should be no more transmitted cases if everyone stays home, so please stay home.

    If after 2 weeks there are still community transmitted cases it will be time to bring the outside influence to once again straighten things out.

    • Posted by be yourself on

      your logic is flawed. so if one person that is infected isolates in a home with 8 other people and they over weeks become infected DOES NOT MEAN the community is not doing their job.

      your support is conditional based on that flawed logic. Do arviamiut a favour and try to understand the reality of the situation a bit better b4 you make ignorant comments like you have

  9. Posted by Benjaman on

    People didnt find more covid because people got sick. It was testing anyone they could as a ‘percautionary.’ This stuff is everywhere already, best is to avoid nurses all together.

  10. Posted by Tom on

    Restrictions should never have been lifted in the first place, my question is why was it lifted so soon? This decision to lift the restrictions was so irresponsible and for future decisions I hope the GN learns from this.
    Is the GN able to get information on the number of people that travelled to other communities from Arviat?
    This is such a huge risk for other communities with people deciding to travel out of Arviat. One or two people infected can easily spread this virus to other parts of Nunavut so fast. You see how fast this virus can spread with just one person infected.
    My confidence in how the GN handled this is deteriorating.

Comments are closed.