Iqaluit’s Storehouse bar site of potential COVID-19 exposure, GN says

Health Department advisory aimed at bar patrons and recent travellers

Nunavut’s Health Department is asking many in Iqaluit to self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms or immediately isolate in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the capital city where the first COVID-19 case was declared Wednesday. (File photo)

By Jane George

Nunavut’s Health Department says anybody who visited the Storehouse Bar and Grill in Iqaluit over the past week may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The government recommends anyone who visited the bar between April 8 and 14 to self-monitor for symptoms of infection for 14 days following their last visit, according to a notice circulated on social media late Thursday evening.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Anyone who develops these symptoms should isolate themselves and to schedule a COVID-19 test, the advisory says. Self-isolation involves staying at home and avoiding other people.

The announcement came hours after after Canadian North confirmed one of its airline employees in Iqaluit had tested positive for COVID-19. It’s the first case to be confirmed in Iqaluit since the COVID-19 pandemic began last March.

Iqaluit immediately entered lockdown after the case was discovered, with the closure of schools and non-essential workplaces.

The Storehouse Bar and Grill is located on the Astro Hill complex, close to the Frobisher Inn hotel.

The notice is also advising anyone who has travelled outside of Iqaluit since April 7 to isolate for 14 days starting immediately.

The territorial government provided more information Thursday about what health officials know about the positive case.

Nunavut’s chief medical officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, said the person who tested positive for COVID-19 had been in Nunavut for 16 days and “may have contracted COVID-19 in Iqaluit.”

The GN is holding a news conference Friday at 11 a.m. to provide more information about the arrival of the COVID-19 virus in Iqaluit.

The news conference is streamed online and broadcast on the radio in Iqaluit at 92.5 FM.

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(16) Comments:

  1. Posted by Confused on

    So, people at the bar in the time frame mentioned only need to self-monitor without isolation, but anyone who traveled to other communities from iqaluit has to isolate?

    • Posted by ATII on

      yes. everyone don’t visit. choose one home.

      if someone knocks just say SORRY not now until we hear. let us get through this and not be the carrier to carry the bug to someone else. is there a telephone to cll to make reports?

      Canadian let their worker work in this way by not working alone for the 14 days? what should they pay for ? how about the Hub? they are on rotation too.

    • Posted by eskimo joe on

      this is probably the source of this monster to start its spread. after an hour at this place, nobody gives a big rats ass anyway. No hoot or social courtesy.

  2. Posted by Jay Arnakak on

    like what *so amazed* posted on Apr 15, 2021, it is crazy to assume that the first documented case of covid-19 in Iqaluit was the source.

    BTW, I was being factious about my facebook comment. social media is a source of fake news and misinformation and should never be taken seriously. it certainly cannot be a driver of public discourse.

    • Posted by Author of “so amazed’ on

      Of course, facebook is the source of both good and bad information. The real point of that comment was that the observation that it must have come from “down south” is actually such a facile, pointless and uninformative observation that it is impossible not to wonder at why it was raised at all. I am betting on reflexive xenophobia, which is a common but disgraceful part of life in Nunavut.

      • Posted by Business as usual on

        ^ Did you expect anything less?

  3. Posted by tuktuborel on

    It always bothered me that some people coming to Nunavut were not required to isolate because of there job titles. Are these people somehow immune to Covid? Obviously not!
    It is also very apparent that not enough testing and follow up has not been done either.

    Here we go again and if it is one of the variants look out.

    • Posted by Go on… on

      Some workers don’t have a choice. Until Nunavummiut can be completely self-sufficient, we will need emergency workers here immediately. No way around that. Now with Covid, guessing they need more nurses up here, and since barely any nurses from Nunavut… Guess what? They gotta hire from the south! Next time fridge break down and they need a specialist to fix it immediately and there no specialist in Iqaluit? Guess what.?? U get the picture?

      • Posted by Still need improvements on

        Yes we get some emergency workers need to fly up here, but there are other ways of dealing with them, such as testing them before they come up and again 5-6 days later, instead of taking these huge risks where the onus is on the person to self isolate, also not all positions should be essential if people locally can do them.
        Much improvements needed to help keep us safer.

      • Posted by Baffin on

        I had to reply to this!
        Do you know something about the GN protocol for isolation for essential workers and nursing staff?
        First A frontline worker(AKAAll Nurses on contract) are brought up from Ontario,Quebec,British Columbia.They have to isolate in Same Apartment that another Contract Staff has been there already!
        So the chances of the New rotational staff infecting the roommate is HUGE
        One shared tiny bathroom and shared kitchen
        But then go to work
        Work on call on the Holidays
        And wear a mask
        And then go back to your accommodations and infect whoever you have for a Room mate
        Lots of casual staff has requested to be by themselves while they isolate for 14 days
        And that’s when they are harassed by their NIC or Other nursing staff for requesting!
        GN Leadership has to open their eyes to this practice!

        • Posted by cbroste on

          Accommodation is tight. How would you suggest they do it? By decreasing staff to allow for one person per multibed unit? Forcing Health Centres to run with less staff in places where they can barely keep up as it is?

  4. Posted by Inuktituusuu on

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the grocery stores are super spreader sites. There always seems to be a crowd of people smoking in front of the main entrance to public buildings.

  5. Posted by trapper Don on

    Wear your mask – wash your hands often – keep your distance. Stay alive!!!

  6. Posted by Shawn on

    Just wondering why they would send everybody back to communities now isolate them for two weeks for sure they were at bar . Soon it will be everywhere this is time to act now tomorrow’s to late . Think about it thanks

  7. Posted by Mike Osmond on

    There’s some people who were in Iqaluit on those dates who flew back to Rankin and are not isolating even though they were asked to. Seems dangerous.

  8. Posted by Qikiqtani on

    Initially, with the first Iqaluit case, the Qikiqtani Region and Rankin Inlet changed stages, however before long one community in the Qikiqtani Region was dropped: Sanikiluaq.
    Pre-Covid, no regularly scheduled flights between that community and any other Nunavut community existed – – yes, including to/from Iqaluit.
    No Canadian North flights go to Sanikiluaq.
    With the Covid situation unfolding just over a year ago, there started to be 1-2 charter flights between Sanikiluaq & Iqaluit in a week. With the initial April 13/21 date being identified by the GN it would seem that Sanikiluaq would be in the clear because the most recent charter from Iqaluit had been on April 11/21. 
Notice of potential exposure issued last evening(April 15th) moved the date of concern further back to April 7/8th. With that change of dates, Sanikiluaq’s position in relation to potential Covid exposure should have shifted because of the charter to Sanikiluaq on April 11, BUT also because of a charter from Iqaluit on April 9th. As well, there was also a charter flight from Rankin on April 9th.
    People who were in Iqaluit last week have been out and about in Sanikiluaq, in the stores, in the schools etc. this week.

    * Why, out of an abundance of caution has, Sanikiluaq not been moved into Stage 2?
    Extensive contact tracing in Iqaluit is underway— in today’s GN press conference it was stated that the number of positive cases in Iqaluit is expected to increase: this would therefore mean even more contact tracing is needed.
    Sanikiluaq, like all Baffin communities should be in Stage 2 until such time as extensive contact tracing rules out all possibilities.

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