Nunavik faces new COVID-19 restrictions as virus spreads
‘There is a risk of catching COVID-19 everywhere in Nunavik,’ warns regional health board
A third Nunavik community is under “red alert” and airports are facing tight restrictions as the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services imposes new COVID-19 measures across the region.
On Wednesday, the health board reported six new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nunavik, leaving the region with a total of 25 active cases. There may also be unconfirmed cases across the region, the board said.
“The risk is now the highest it has ever been,” the board announced on Facebook. “There is a risk of catching COVID-19 everywhere in Nunavik.”
Salluit, where there is one active case and people under observation, has been added to the region’s list of “red alert” municipalities. The community’s COVID-19 case involves a person who is not a traveller. Public health staff are investigating how the person got the infection and to identify contacts, screen them and isolate them.
On Monday, Kangirsuk and Ivujivik were placed under “red alert” restrictions. Flights to and from Salluit have been suspended until further notice.
The health board says the community faces a “complete shutdown,” with all non-essential places closed and non-essential activities cancelled.
All other municipalities in Nunavik are under “orange alert” restrictions, which include a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people and a ban on travel between communities. Masks are mandatory in indoor public spaces and workplaces.
Airports in the region are now “restricted to passengers and authorized personnel only,” the Kativik Regional Government announced Wednesday.
“Passengers will be allowed to circulate in the terminal building only during the period needed before the departure and or after the arrival of their flights,” said Rhéal Séguin, a KRG spokesperson, in a statement. “Passengers will be asked to limit their time in the terminal building for as short a period as possible.”
The KRG is asking that all residents 12 years of age and older get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“In order to protect elders, loved-ones, family and friends Nunavimmiut need to get vaccinated,” Séguin said.