Nunavik now has declared seven cases of the new coronavirus in the region. Of these, six are in the Hudson Bay community of Puvirnituq. (File image)

Updated: Nunavik declares its 10th case of COVID-19

On April 12, nine confirmed cases in Purvirnituq

By Jane George

(Updated, Sunday, April 12, 8:30 p.m.)

As of 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 12, there were 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nunavik, the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services said in a social media update.

“The NRBHSS has been informed of 3 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community of Puvirnituq. The individuals were already in isolation and they are doing well. They will be able to continue their isolation at home. These new cases bring the cumulative total to ten (10) cases for the region,” the health board said.

That brings the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Puvirnituq, which has a population of about 1,900, to nine.

Five have been declared since Friday, April 10.

Earlier on Sunday,  the health board said in an emailed statement to Nunatsiaq News that no other “possible case announcement” was expected “so far” to be announced over the Easter weekend.

“We announce cases as soon as we are informed of them. We make sure to verify first that the patient has been made aware of its diagnosis by its treating team. Once we have confirmation that this is done, we have a whole process and a few steps to announce the case.

“It’s hard to know in advance when we will receive a confirmation for a case but as soon as we receive one, we start the process and announce it,” health board spokesperson Josée Lévesque said.

Of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 to date in Purvirnituq, one remains in hospital, she said.

A late evening announcement on Saturday, April 11, from the health board announced a new confirmed case of COVID-19 for an individual in Puvirnituq.

“The individual is in isolation at home and is doing fine. Close family members were already in isolation before the case was confirmed. This new case brings the cumulative total to seven (7) cases for the region,” the posting said.

This followed an earlier announcement on Friday, April 10, that a new positive case of COVID-19 in Nunavik had been confirmed in Puvirnituq.

“The individual is currently under the care of health professionals at Inuulitsivik Health Centre,” the health board said. “The individual was already in isolation while awaiting the test results.”

The health department said on April 5 that the first person declared to have COVID-19 in the region, from the Hudson Strait community of Salluit, had recovered.

“Verifications are being done at the moment to see if we have a new recovered case,” Lévesque said on April 12.

Nunavik announced its first case of COVID-19 on March 29.

The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services is encouraging Nunavimmiut to make masks, such as these ones, credited to Ittuvik Saviadjuk Paquet and Adamina Saviadjuk Paquet. (Photo courtesy of the NRBHSS)

Since then a curfew and other preventive measures have been put into effect across Nunavik, and travel to the region must now be pre-approved.

The new cases in Nunavik are added to the 12,292 confirmed cases in Quebec on April 12: 289 people in Quebec, mainly aged over 70, have died from the new coronavirus.

Over the Easter weekend, the Nunavik health board also encouraged Nunavimmiut to make fabric non-medical masks, as shown in an online video.

A homemade mask is not as effective as a medical mask, the health board said, but “it could help protect others from your droplets if you carry COVID-19 virus.”

“A mask should always be disinfected after each use and not be shared,” the health board said in its advisory.

Reminder: if you believe you may have been infected with COVID-19, do not go to your local nursing station or health centre. Contact the health information line at 1-888-662-7482 from Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Outside those hours, contact your local health facility.

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(11) Comments:

  1. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    It would be interesting to know how the cases are related in POV. it sounds like this is contained to one family but the report is unclear. How “close” were the “close family members”?
    Are we talking about family in the same house or has this spread out to “family” living in separate houses?
    Does the NRBHSS conclude that the newer infections are from symptomatic or a symptomatic contact? It may make a big difference to if/how this will spread in POV.
    Inquiring minds want to know. Someone needs to ask the tough questions and get some answers.

    • Posted by Growing Concern on

      I agree with you, The Old Trapper.

      When the first case in Nunavik occurred in Salluit, the warnings/suggestions were given that everyone should stay in their own homes. No visiting family, friends, relatives. Just stay home. This was also when the curfew was placed for all of Nunavik, to help stop the spread.

      I believe we deserve to know exactly how these cases in POV are spreading. Is it just one family in multiple households? Or different individuals from different families in different households? We don’t need names, but we have a right to know.

      Nunavik is small. No planes, no travel between communities, no travel to the hotspot that is Montreal. If these new cases are being spread by people not respecting the warnings, then I really believe that more strict policies should be put in place.

      Nunavik is already struggling with TB. We have a chance and opportunity to stop Covid-19 from spreading unlike we did with TB.

  2. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    I’ve watched this go from 1 case, to 2 cases, to 5 cases, then 6 and 7 cases, now to 10 cases.
    First this shows that trying to social distance is not going to work in Nunavik as both the cultural and physical realities are against it.
    Second, it shows that Nunavik needs to yell for HELP right now. Get these people and anyone they came into contact with into lockdown right now or you will have hundreds infected before this is done.

  3. Posted by In the numbers on

    It’s would be nice to know more , but as far as the spread goes, it’s in the numbers already. I’m concerned with the numbers. In a short time 3 more cases are known. It’s may be the tip of the iceberg.

  4. Posted by CeeJay on

    Living in Puvirnituq, which is an extremely cultural location, I can assure you that the mayor and the council have worked really hard to ensure the safety of this community. Our streets have been bare for quite some weeks now, during curfew as well as, throughout the day. The practice of social distancing has been implemented for many weeks now, and everyone here is doing their part in participating also. There have been implemented allowances into the grocery stores with max capacities of 15 people, as to practice the safety of social distancing as well. All the cases that are known here in Puvirnituq have been familial spread (within the same home) and has not been confirmed as community spread. From my understanding, these cases have all been quarantined in the same household since the very first outbreak here.
    I know the council is working very hard to keep it contained, and they will continue to do so as they do not want a pandemic here. Thoughts and prayers to the family infected.

    • Posted by The Old Trapper on

      Thank you for the local information from Puvirnituq. It is somewhat reassuring that this is all within one family in one house. Our thoughts are with them and hoping for a complete recovery for everyone.
      I am glad to hear that residents are taking this pandemic so seriously.

      • Posted by Local information contains gossip on

        I’m like you, in appreciating information as indicated by ceejay. But caution here, not to knock away ceejays credibility, but social media, comments on this site, Facebook, all saturated with gossip in its worst forms. This is not the best way to get information. But it is the best way to continue information from the gossip chain. Gossip is gossip, even if it’s not.

    • Posted by Familial , community spread on

      As far as familial spread goes, it’s in all probability the source of community spread, but we cross our fingers in hope not. Unless the whole family has been inside without any contact since the beginning, and the first person in that family has been in contact with no one, out side of the family, which is unlikely, other family members too, unlikely. If the infected person came in from Montreal, and didn’t know right away that they were infected. Chances of it being passed is a concern as we are watching to see.

    • Posted by Are you for real? on

      Is this confirmed information from the health board? And btw, I still see a line up at the coop where people are gathering in the masses so I’ve been avoiding to go there. 15 people in the store but a line of 40 outside that are pretty dense per square metre. Hopefully, it is contained under one roof. I hope the infected recover and have some break, in due time, from this isolation that’s all driving us mad.

  5. Posted by Sam on

    This is why we have to be extra careful in Nunavut, why 90 some teachers should stay down south, the risk of one of them bringing the virus is too high.
    One case of the Covid 19 and it will spread like fire.

  6. Posted by We’re they careless? on

    Isn’t it 10 minus one since the first case was announced as cured?
    Or health board is going to keep adding and including the cured?

    And isn’t it two different clans in POV contracted at different times?

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