Nunavik forms COVID-19 response committee

Region not in a state of emergency, but on emergency watch, says police chief

The Kativik Regional Government has formed a committee to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Nunavik Regional Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee held its first meeting on Tuesday, March 17. (Photo by Elaine Anselmi)

By Nunatsiaq News

Nunavik’s leaders have struck a new committee to help coordinate responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nunavik Regional Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee first met on Tuesday, March 17. The group stems from the Civil Protection Act, which deals with civil security and public emergencies in Quebec, according to a news release on Wednesday, March 18.

The meeting brought together the Kativik Regional Police Force and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, led by the Kativik Regional Government.

The regional government, according to the news release, can, by law, exercise special powers to manage the current pandemic. Director General Michael Gordon has requested partnership on the issue from both regional organizations and the municipalities, which will be asked to participate in future meetings.

Both Air Inuit and Canadian North were special participants to the first meeting of the committee. This was due to the role transportation plays in curbing the spread of the new coronavirus.

The committee will be tasked with anticipating different scenarios and taking action to prevent the pandemic from spreading across Nunavik.

Various sub-committees will address specific issues such as housing, internet access, communications and daycare, according to the news release.

For their part, the airlines will prevent Nunavik-bound passengers from boarding if they have travelled outside of Canada in the last two weeks, or been in contact with a person who has COVID-19.

The airlines also announced this week they would be reducing flight schedules to northern communities.

As of Wednesday, March 18, there remain no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nunavik, the health board said.

While the Quebec government declared a state of emergency due to the pandemic on March 13—with 94 confirmed cases in the province—Police Chief Jean-Pierre Larose said Nunavik is not currently in a state of emergency.

He said the region is under emergency watch, in order to be prepared for any potential spread of the virus.

To prevent the transmission of coronavirus, the health board recommends:

• Frequent hand-washing of up to 20 seconds with soap.

• Coughing into your elbow.

• Disposing of any used tissues immediately.

• Avoiding contact with elders over 70 years old if you have any cold or flu symptoms.

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(12) Comments:

  1. Posted by ALOUPA KULULA on

    Anybody who wants to come to Noth of 55th parallel should be isolated first for 24days not 14 days as most of you will realize in about 2 weeks, since the territory is still in effected and make it mantatory

    • Posted by Traveler on

      I saw on CNN this morning , in China after 2 1/2 month , they finally have no new cases .
      I m sure , this virus will be around for a few month.

  2. Posted by Committee on

    Nunavik is nothing without a committee or a meeting. Oh yes it’ll be done yet. The virus will find its way into Nunavik via one of the committees and meetings. I think this committee as by the police is one of a worth while committee., but just watch the virus coming with the need to flock together and touch. We’ll see the men and the boys separating to. The fanatic, the hypochondriac and the dangerously fearful toilet paper purchasers. Agree the police may be needed for the lunatics.

  3. Posted by concerned on

    I don’t see any emergency plans in my community where tested positives people can be quarantined, we have over crowded houses and would not be safe to self quarantine at home, for sure if there is one positive tested it might have chain reaction, and we need a building where people can be treated and quarantined, other than homes,

  4. Posted by ALOUPA KULULA on

    If Nunavik has 0 cases close the air traffic now for all travelers coming from Montreal until this pandemic passes by until you start making draconian measures this should be your first move

    • Posted by Stop the wine and beer on

      It’s time to stop the sale of wine and beer also. The Co-op stores in the affected communities are harbouring crowds to continue this line ups and disrespect for social distances. It’s big disregard and ignorance. Guaranteed, if it gets into Nunavik, it’s going to spread like wild fire, due to the rush for wine and beer alone.

  5. Posted by Herds on

    This virus will be hardest on people that live in herds. Not just people that live in overcrowded housing, that’s bad too. But many people in the north, Inuit mostly, are not living with much individuality. Not many do things in life, solo.. The need to congregate. You rarely see them doing things alone. There’s always a herd. There’s a big hunting, fishing, and outdoor life, that’s not used. This isolated situation will not work for these people. They can’t be alone ,they can’t live without being around the herd. That’s why there’s so much trouble. Not much individually. The real strength to survive this virus, is the ability to be an independent person, not dependent on the herd.

    • Posted by Noncompliance on

      As there’s much talk about the vulnerability of Northern communities , it’s mostly self made. Yes, we have overcrowded, but let’s point out the other important factors for the spread of disease, historical and today. Much of it has to do with noncompliance and ignorance. In the TB epidemic it was lots people not taking their pills. Today, it’s easy to see people are still in large close groups around the community, combined with authority comprising of the same individuals who are not understanding the importance of social distancing. It’s very dangerous and no one addressing this reality.

  6. Posted by beer and wine on

    The co-op beer and wine sales will be a real threat to this virus being passed on. If anyone can go see the crowd that is buying under shotguns sales during the limited hours, it’s incredibly. When this virus gets into Nunavik, it’s destruction like no history Before. Can’t understand why Nunavik health don’t recommend shutting the beer and wine sales. People will be affected big time, Mark my words.

  7. Posted by Stop the meetings on

    Stop the meetings. Use teleconference or internet. I’m concern that Nunavik authorities are not aware of the magnitude of this virus. There appears to be still meetings going on. Even meetings to discuss the virus needs to be stopped. Health and social services?

  8. Posted by It’s trying to get in on

    Nunavik is not doing enough to prevent the spread of covid-19 as it try’s to make its way into the region. There’s still too much closeness of people in public spaces. I feel many people don’t understand the potential implications. People need to understand that it’s a threat to their lungs, not just a flu like thing. The grocery stores are business as usual, and that’s not good. The two communities where wine and beer are sold, are business as usual with a major threat to contagion. The authorities need to use local radio, as well as Facebook to give daily updates, plus they need to emphasize the threat more. At the moment Nunavik is not as prepared as could be.

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