Iqaluit records 1st COVID-19 recovery

Territorial total remains at 33 as new case confirmed in capital

On Wednesday morning, Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq announced that the city of Iqaluit had recorded its first COVID-19 recovery. Despite this, the territorial total remains at 33, as a new case was also confirmed in the capital city. (Photo by Dustin Patar)

By Dustin Patar

The city of Iqaluit has recorded its first COVID-19 recovery.

The announcement, made by Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq during a news conference Wednesday morning, comes one week after the capital city confirmed its first case of the virus.

According to Nunavut’s chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, recoveries are recorded when it has been 10 days from the onset of symptoms and the individual has been symptom-free for at least 24 hours.

For asymptomatic people, the 10-day period begins when the swab was collected.

Because of these timelines, Patterson says that recoveries are part of the information used to help find out when COVID-19 arrived in Iqaluit, though he wouldn’t say whether the recovery involved the city’s first case, an individual identified by Canadian North last week.

In addition to the recovery, one new case has been confirmed in Iqaluit, but no new cases were reported in Kinngait, which saw its first two infections earlier this week.

All positive cases are also being sent to southern labs for variant testing.

Those results, which Patterson has said he expects later this week, will provide response teams with better information about what they’re dealing with, as some variants spread easier than others and some are more likely to result in severe infections.

Although Nunavut’s case counts have slowed in recent days, Patterson cautioned residents from reading too much into that.

“When we’re dealing with small numbers and smaller communities like this there’s going to be ups and downs from day to day,” he said.

“It’s not really useful to look at it that closely and try and predict a change in the trend every 24 hours.”

Across the territory, 14,559 residents have received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine, and 11,605 are now fully vaccinated.

Nunavummiut who would like to book a vaccination appointment can call their local health centre.

For individuals currently isolating, vaccines will be available as soon that period ends.

Meanwhile, any resident of Nunavut who thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19 is asked to call a hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. eastern time.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include sore throat, runny nose, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, muscle ache, loss of taste and smell, tiredness, fever, or upset stomach.

The Nunavut government’s COVID updates will continue this week on Friday at 11 a.m. eastern time.

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(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by Incubation period? on

    Incubation period is approximately 2 weeks confirmed by Dr. Patterson this morning. Iqaluit’s 1st recovery was clear under 2 weeks from his/her confirmation of contracting the virus. Does that mean that individual would have been roaming Iqaluit without symptoms for almost an entire week? It’s somewhat confusing.

  2. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    “The incubation period ranges from 1 to 14 days. The median is 5 to 6 days between exposure and symptom onset” – Govt of Canada website
    I agree that it’s a little confusing since it’s been less than 10 days since the original infection has been announced.

    • Posted by Jay Arnakak on

      I think the numbers are based not on simple arithmetic but tailor made statistical analysis and modelling based on worldwide data.

      mind, the resolution is not absolute but highly informative for strategic planning (ie, not all will be captured by the dragnet). Public health measures and vaccination drives are still and always will be our best bet.


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