‘High risk’ of COVID-19 transmission brings travel restrictions to Cambridge Bay and Kinngait

Nunavut’s case count surpasses 200; first presumptive case reported in Sanikiluaq

Pictured here is the Helen Maksagak Centre in Cambridge Bay. Cambridge Bay, along with Kinngait, are the latest Nunavut communities to see restricted travel. (Photo by Dustin Patar)

By Mélanie Ritchot

Nunavut’s case count surpassed 200 on Tuesday, bringing new travel restrictions for Cambridge Bay and Kinngait with it.

Six new confirmed cases in Kinngait raised the territory’s active case count to 210, the Department of Health announced in a news release. There are also three new presumptive cases in Cambridge Bay and a first presumptive case in Sanikiluaq.

The presumptive cases are not included in the active case count. The Government of Nunavut is now only including confirmed cases in that tally.

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, announced new travel restrictions as well.

“The new cases indicate a high risk of community transmission in Cambridge Bay and Kinngait, which cannot be ignored,” he stated.

Travel restrictions are now in place for Arviat, Cambridge Bay, Igloolik, Iqaluit, Kinngait, Pangnirtung, Rankin Inlet and Sanirajak, meaning people can only enter and leave these communities for essential reasons.

Travel between other communities is highly discouraged.

Active case breakdown:

  • Arviat — 48
  • Baker Lake — 1
  • Cambridge Bay — 1 (and 3 presumptive cases)
  • Chesterfield Inlet — 2
  • Igloolik — 15
  • Iqaluit — 55
  • Kinngait — 7
  • Pangnirtung — 19
  • Pond Inlet — 1
  • Qikiqtarjuaq — 3
  • Rankin Inlet — 44
  • Sanirajak — 14
  • Sanikiluaq — 0 confirmed cases (and 1 presumptive case)

There were a total of 210 active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut on Tuesday, without counting presumptive cases of the virus. (Graphic by Mélanie Ritchot)

Six cases recovered Tuesday, including one in Igloolik, four in Iqaluit and one in Pangnirtung.

Three new exposure notices were issued on Tuesday for Canadian North flights from Ottawa to Iqaluit and another was issued Monday for a Calm Air flight from Winnipeg to Rankin Inlet.

The GN is asking all passengers on these flights to self-monitor for symptoms until specific dates whether they are vaccinated or not.

New flight exposure notices:

  • Canadian North flight #5T103 from Ottawa to Iqaluit on Dec. 27 — self-monitor until Jan. 10
  • Canadian North flight #5T101 from Ottawa to Iqaluit on Dec. 30 — self-monitor until Jan. 13
  • Canadian North flight #5T103 from Ottawa to Iqaluit on Dec. 30 — self-monitor until Jan. 13
  • Calm Air Flight #MO302 on Dec. 30 — self-monitor until Jan. 13

If symptoms develop, people are advised to call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-975-8601.

Premier P.J. Akeeagok and Patterson are scheduled to give an update on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET, which can be streamed on the legislative assembly’s website or listened to by radio in Iqaluit at 92.5 FM.

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(14) Comments:

  1. Posted by Maskless kids on

    What are teachers going to do on the 18th when a boatload of kids show up refusing to wear masks, as they always do.

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    • Posted by Just a thought on

      I would be very surprised if the world returns to normal and the lockdowns are over by then… expect this to go on for a bit longer than that.

    • Posted by Kids behave better than adults on

      I teach grade 4 and kids are surprisingly respectful of the mask rules.

      Can’t say the same for some of the old dicknosers you see grumbling around the airport and northmart.

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      • Posted by Not here. on

        Before Christmas not even the teachers were wearing masks at the elementary.

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  2. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    When will Cambridge Bay get more tools to help diagnose our own people like other regions do?

    Until then they give us thoughts and prayers.

    You see how well that works for school shootings in America.

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    • Posted by Pandemonic Prophet on

      I would question why they’re spending the time, money, effort and attention span on confirming their presumptive cases at all. The patient has symptoms consistent with Covid, tested positive on a rapid test, is connected to one or two others with a similar profile… what exactly is the point of a PCR test? How is that information going to slow the spread or help the patient recover?
      This might have made sense with the previous strains where we had a reasonable hope of keeping the virus out for weeks or months at a time, and not many cases popping up. It seems like a poor allocation of resources now.

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  3. Posted by Hai? on

    There are a lot of flight exposure notices so it seems that there are a lot of cases among vaccinated (and possibly boosted) individuals, which is consistent with other areas in the world. If the GN will not volunteer this information to the public, will Nunatsiaq please request the vaccination status for all Nunavut cases? If they are going to keep saying that boosters are the way out of this pandemic and that vaccines should be mandated (select GN departments and Hamlets), the least they can do is justify these things with some data/information and to be transparent about the situation here in Nunavut.

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    • Posted by Boosters on

      Because it’s about keeping people out of hospitals at this point. It’s a known fact that vaccines don’t make everyone immune from covid.

      I wouldn’t give a crap about covid if our hospitals weren’t affect by it, but they’re overrun by it because too many fools think they got it fogured out and they don’t get the shot.

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    • Posted by anon on

      There are more cases reported in vaccinated people vs unvaccinated, because there are more vaccinated people.

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      • Posted by Hai? on

        Yes that may be the case but without the data, we really don’t know for sure. In some cases, it may come down to the numbers but that may not be the whole story. For example: difference in immunity (natural vs. vaccine or both), difference in public health measures (vaccine mandates/additional requirements), difference in vaccine effectiveness for Inuit (if any), social behaviours, culture differences, etc. And I’m not saying we need answers to all these things right now but it would be nice to get a sense of what it looks like here to see if the mandates are even justified in Nunavut because there seems to be less justification for it elsewhere these days.

  4. Posted by Pandemonic Prophet on

    Strain on our capacity to provide medical care is the only legitimate basis for restrictions. Restricting in the absence of that strain is counterproductive. Pay now or pay later (and paying later means deferring cases by disrupting society, which also means paying now). Endemicity is the way forward that the rest of Canada is wisely accepting, albeit in fits and starts.
    Hopefully there is a grand strategy for Nunavut, e.g. we’re waiting until this burns itself out down south before opening up so we have better access to spare capacity in the south to handle our acute cases when they come. It would be nice if they shared that strategy to explain their thinking (Nunavut’s Path is looking very 2020) and reassure us that they’re not just muddling along reacting and covering their political and bureaucratic behinds.

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  5. Posted by tuktuborel on

    Besides the growing numbers of Covid cases I think a very important piece of information is, how are the Covid outcomes. Are people getting very sick, are people ending up in hospital. This latest round of Covid may be turning out to be , for most, something similar to a bad cold or flu. This may be a more important fact than a simple number of cases.

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  6. Posted by Bobby on

    And I wonder why cam bay is letting a couple fly here from cam bay

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  7. Posted by Newnavut on

    It seems like when there are no active cases people tend to think life is great but in reality life is great for some , some who get payed a salary and live a home lifestyle, the majority of the residents do not have this privelage to just wait out the storm as they do not have the income to support themselves. The highest earners in Nunavut are being paid to stay home while life stands still for the rest of us already living in less than ideal conditions.

    I think the GN in particular needs to put a better effort into taking care of the territories residents if the GN expect us to just hang out and do nothing for extended periods of time. Also I doubt this virus will go away anytime soon so what is the long term plan on caring for the citizens of Nunavut ? When you force us into lockdown and we literally do not have options on how to navigate or compensate for the situation and impact on our lives.
    Wth the huge rise in covid cases and the omicron varient in the south it is clear and simple how this virus is getting into the territory and that is through air travel so do something about it.

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