Nunavik declares tenth COVID-19 case in Puvirnituq

Still no community transmission, says health board

As of April 13, the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services says there have been 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Puvirnituq. (File photo)

By Jane George

Nunavik health officials announced yesterday afternoon that another COVID-19 infection had been confirmed in Puvirnituq.

That brings the total to 11 confirmed cases in the region, one in Salluit, in a person who has now recovered, and 10 active cases in Puvirnituq.

“The individual was already in isolation and will be able to continue their isolation at home,” said Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services in an online update about the latest case.

The health board said the person with the most recent case had been in  “close contact” with the previously declared COVID-19 cases in that community of about 1,900.

More cases could be declared due to changes in how future infections will be confirmed.

“Nunavik has now entered a new phase when it comes to confirming the status of individuals suspected of having COVID-19,” said Marie Rochette, director of public health at the NRBHSS, in an April 13 health board release.

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From now on, when someone has symptoms and has been identified as a close contact to someone with a confirmed case, that person will automatically be considered as COVID-19 positive and will not be tested, the health board said.

This is what is called a case confirmed by an “epidemiological link,” the health board said in an emailed response to questions from Nunatsiaq News.

Such a link is defined as a case of human-to-human transmission, that is, a person has had contact with a person with a confirmed case in such a way as to acquire the infection.

As for community transmission, which doesn’t necessarily mean a person who develops an infection has come in contact with an infected person, “Nunavik is not considered to be at that stage yet,” the health board said.

But the health board said, “Precautions that would apply during a community transmission stage are being applied though, to take safety a step further.”

COVID-19 testing sites will be put in place this week, the health board said, although the location of these sites was not identified.

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Once these are set up, the health board will determine who will be tested and who will not be.

As of last week, the laboratories in Nunavik’s two hospitals, in Puvirnituq and Kuujjuaq, have been able to perform COVID-19 tests, “which is a significant increase of our capacity to respond swiftly and more efficiently,” the health board said.

The Inuulitsivik hospital, built in 1987, now has a special zone for COVID-19 patients. (File photo)

One of the infected people in Puvirnituq remains in the Inuulitsivik hospital.

Within the 25-bed Inuulitsivik hospital, a zone has been created to accommodate patients who are considered at risk of carrying COVID-19 or have tested positive for the new coronavirus since last week, the health board said.

There is also an area where all patients considered not infected by COVID-19 continue to be treated.

“The total capacity to intervene is increased significantly,” the health board said. “All patients that were considered at risk have been transferred to external resources.”

As for personal protective equipment, or PPE, such as masks and gloves, the inventory meets the needs of the health network in Puvirnituq, the health board said.

As April 13, 13,557 positive cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in Quebec.


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(5) Comments:

  1. Posted by Other communities listen on

    All of Nunavik needs to take this seriously. Puvirnituq hopefully has it contained within a house or two, we’ll see. Puvirnituq has strict measures in place and has put a stop to alcohol sales, therefore partying groups are not a problem. But if it get into some community that is still partying with disrespect to the situation then it’s going to spread in the community in a short period. The Kuujjuaq mayor goes on fm, as by giving updates via the health board. He even warns about the issue with drinking and partying. As Kuujjuaq still has beer sales, the mayor needs to tell the population that beer sales will shut down, and we all suffer, no beer, because of those party’s. whether the mayor or other leaders can see this as an insight, I’m not sure, but shutting down the beer sales might be inevitable, not by the municipality, but by the government directly. We shall see. Yes, the party still
    Going on, might be a threat to future beer., and or worst, a threat to our health.

  2. Posted by No denying the truth here on

    Most of our dysfunctional life in Nunavik comes from the denial of what’s wrong around us. Not that we have any more wrongs than other places. But we do have significant denial. And denial is obstruction to healthy growth. As far as this virus is concerned, most places in the world that got into real trouble we’re the ones who denied and lied about the numbers and the devastation. Well, thank god Nunavik will not get to deny this virus as it’s in the care of the authorities that are guided by caring and compassion. Not that Nunavik has no compassion, there’s lots, but certain individuals, leaders , that are continually leading the population into denial. Nunavik can’t feel with this alone, thank god, denial will not be possible. That alone goes along way in getting through this crisis.

  3. Posted by Concerned on

    Yum, I like my beer so much. A cold one or two. I’m not sure why the partying is allowed to continue in Kuujjuaq. Will they soon take our beer availablity away due to breaking the curfew and the gatherings? Maybe the wait is on for the virus to show up, maybe. For those who continue to break the curfew and party, you are putting us all in unnecessary danger, and if you keep it up, beer sales will probably stop. Just saying, you may say , not even. But you are wrong.

  4. Posted by I’ll keep asking! on

    So who is going to make the first move to help the homeless in Montreal?
    Because it was announced that $4 million was going to help those on the streets.

    We want an answer! Thanks

  5. Posted by It’s like this on

    The longer that there are party’s and disrespect of curfews, the longer we’ll all have to continue the physical distancing and be living this way of life. So the next time there’s a gathering or a party , or breaking the curfew, it means longer we live with restrictions. There, that’s one way that this is affecting everyone.

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