Isolation rules change as Nunavut eases restrictions

Negative result on self-test doesn’t end isolation period, Patterson says

The Government of Nunavut reported 125 new cases of COVID-19 and 117 recoveries on Monday after clearing a reporting backlog over the weekend. (Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

By Mélanie Ritchot

COVID-19 restrictions and isolation rules eased up in Nunavut on Monday, as teachers returned to their classrooms to prepare for many students to come back next week.

The territory’s chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, announced changes to the rules for isolation in a news release on Monday.

“Evidence shows it is reasonable to shorten isolation for some individuals depending on the situation,” Patterson said.

He asked people to “please” finish their full length of time they are required to isolate.

“Leaving isolation early increases the risk of spreading COVID in a community, which will lead to tighter restrictions.”

A negative result on a self-test for COVID-19 does not mean the isolation period can end early, he said.

The rules apply to people who are isolating because they have COVID-19, came in contact with someone who does, or are entering Nunavut:

  • Someone with COVID-19 who has had two doses of a vaccine must isolate for seven days;
  • Someone with COVID-19 who is unvaccinated must isolate for 10 days;
  • High-risk contacts and people living with someone who has COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days after their last exposure, whether they are vaccinated or not;
  • People travelling to Nunavut must isolate for 10 days after entering the territory.

People who have received a third vaccine dose don’t need to isolate for the 10-day period after travelling into Nunavut as long as they got the booster shot at least two weeks before entering Nunavut, Chris Puglia, a spokesperson for the Department of Health, confirmed in an email.

The isolation periods start either from the time symptoms started or when someone received a positive COVID-19 test result.

The isolation period will be extended if the person’s symptoms haven’t stopped for 24 hours.

Public health restrictions also eased across the territory on Monday, with travel restrictions ending for most communities. The exemptions are Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Pangnirtung, where travel restrictions remain in place.

For indoor gatherings, 25 people can now gather and five people plus household members can gather indoors.

Daycares can also reopen and teachers can head back to their classrooms to start lesson planning.

Students are slated to return to school on Jan. 24, although whether that’s in person or not will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

At an update last week, Patterson said schools in every community except for Cambridge Bay, Iqaluit, Kinngait, Arviat and Rankin Inlet can open at full capacity.

These five communities will open at 50 per cent capacity for now.

Places like gyms, community centres, arenas and churches can also reopen to 25 people or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is less.

Personal services like hairdressers can reopen, but restaurants can still only serve takeout meals.

With a backlog on reporting cases being cleared over the weekend, Nunavut had a total of 125 new cases and 117 recoveries reported on Monday, bringing the active total to 151 cases.

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(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by Arctic hamster on

    Does anyone know why the pool and gym aren’t open? From how I read this, it should…

    • Posted by Old timer on

      You need water in a pool so if the water is contaminated will they let u swim? And you need to drink water when your workout and also the water is contaminated will they let u workout in a gym? Guess this answer your question. The ?

  2. Posted by Why in isolation with a negative test result on

    The article says isolation to start after a negative test. Then why are people in isolation waiting for test results when they are tested in the community as negative more than once.

    Overly cautious and creating undue hardship because of poor testing abilities.

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