Nunavik grapples with growing COVID-19 outbreak

Active cases are present in 6 of the region’s 14 communities

Kangirsuk, shown here, has the most active cases of COVID-19 in the region, with 38. (Photo by Jessie Takulik)

By Nunatsiaq News

Nunavik is continuing to see a spread of COVID-19 with 28 new cases reported over the weekend.

As of Oct. 24, the region is reporting 38 active cases in Kangirsuk, 15 in Salluit, 10 in Ivujivik, five in Kuujjuaq, two in Kangiqsujuaq and one in Inukjuak.

There are a total of 71 active cases across the region.

The new numbers come from Nunavik Board of Health and Social Services spokesperson Josee Levesque, in an emailed update.

Kangiqsualujjuaq has zero active cases, but Levesque says there is evidence of community spread. 

“Cases found in other communities were associated with an acquisition in Kangiqsualujjuaq,” she stated in the email.

The communities with COVID-19 cases are under varying levels of public health restrictions based on the severity of spread.

Public health officials in Kangirsuk, where the most cases are being reported, are undertaking a mass testing program.

There are also exposure notices for Kangirsuk, including a Bible conference from Sept. 23 to 28 and the Qajak men’s healing workshop from Oct. 3 to 9. Anybody who participated in either of these events is asked to contact public health officials to get tested. 

Kangiqsualujjuaq, Kuujjuaq, Salluit, Ivujivik and Kangirsuk are all under a red-alert level, which means all non-essential services including schools, youth centres, community centres and churches are closed. 

Essential services in these communities are open with measures in place to reduce transmission of COVID-19 among the general public.

People are also not allowed to visit others outside their homes, or host visitors, in these communities.

Kuujjuaq and Ivujivik are under a curfew from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. Daycares remain open, but anybody with symptoms must isolate and get screened by public health.

Levesque says there are also a few new cases reported outside the region, including three new cases in Ullivik, a Montreal medical facility for Inuit, and four active cases linked to Nunavik airports.

Levesque also urged people in Nunavik to get vaccinated, stressing that it greatly reduces the risk of serious complications from COVID-19 infection.

“It is also proven that vaccination helps reduce the spread of the virus when there is community transmission,” she stated.

“It is not too late. Get vaccinated.”

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(24) Comments:

  1. Posted by outraged on

    We have been informing people who are arriving from Montreal Ullivik Transit to quarantine themselves if they did not receive 2 vaccines. They are not complying with the rules or protocol. They believe they are immune to this serious virus. I have seen up to 14 people in a 1 bedroom apartment partying with a person who tested positive with Covid 19 virus. When we informed the police or the health board they tell us there is nothing they can do about it since they are all adults.

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      • Posted by 12 people on

        12 people is not even 1% of the population. This isn’t an wave/outbreak. It was contained. You’re lucky it was, too. One recorded death from covid was a woman from Puvirnituq.

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  2. Posted by ragedout on

    14 people partying in a 1 bedroom apartment are no adults

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    • Posted by Need to be legal age to drink on

      Might wanna reconsider that statement. That’s why the cops didn’t do anything.

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      • Posted by Childish Gambino on

        He’s saying that if adults aren’t listening to protocols then they are acting childish and not like adults at all.

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        • Posted by Need to be legal age to drink on

          No.. you think?

          These are the adults of nunavik. Even the elderly. It may be childish but the fact remains. They’re adults. You act as if this isn’t a common occurrence. It’s daily life in nunavik.

          Housing shortage, drunks and druggies, and now a new issue being Covid.. it isn’t hard to guess what happens after those three ingredients are mixed. This isn’t youth we are talking about, either. They are adults.

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          • Posted by Immatures dysfunctional on

            What I see in Nunavik, largest village is many many immature adults. Family so called men and women with children. Out all night long drinking and drugged out in space somewhere going around with their vehicles stuffed full of other immature of the same lot. Covid has come by to haunt a few of them, god bless the break we are not getting for safety that some of them are now in isolation due to a positive swab.

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            • Posted by Need to be legal age to drink on

              Everyone’s going through a midlife crisis in nunavik because, kids are allowed to have kids and never actually went through the immature stage. Even elders, man. I am not kidding when I say I see drunk elders acting like children at the bars. Guess life is rough when you gotta grow up at 12 because you’re expecting your first child. Wish nunavik could break the cycle so that we can resolve a bunch of issues before they happen.

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              • Posted by Victor on

                I call bs on your comment “I am not kidding when I say I see drunk elders acting like children at the bars”. Kuujjuaq doesn’t have “bars” with an “s”.
                So many people – mostly outsiders preaching to the locals about how bad they are, as if they will change the world.

  3. Posted by Paying the price on

    It’s all from Nunavik behaviours. Covid spread at this point in time is consequently the result of ignorance and behaviour of a number of people who are misinformed. It’s amazing how the need to meet, to greet. To gather and have useless speeches, patting each other on the back and praying , rather than doing something good for themselves and the community. It’s the same old behaviour of moving around from north to south, and from community to community of people, using up the money on travel, hotels, airfare, booze , drugs. The money that could be put into housing, cost of living, and other needs of the area. Covid outbreak is the result of that. The bed bud outbreak already indicated a warning that useless travel and movement has its consequences. It’s not going to be good. Just watch the numbers today.

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  4. Posted by Suffering education on

    So many aspects of life in Nunavik are affected by this outbreak. Just to mention one aspect. Our kids are out of school more days in normal times, with teacher absences, calling in sick, that it’s very damaging to their education. But now Covid has shut down the schools altogether. The impact on kids will be felt for years, adding to the normal day to day neglect. That alone is devastating, but Covid has the potential to severely affect the well being in many other ways , including lost of life. Look around and see how many people just don’t get it, and frighteningly so many in authority don’t get it either. We in Nunavik don’t have the dr Patterson like they have in Nunavut. We are at the mercy of the uneducated, with a few educated shadowing behind the scenes and second in command of the beneficiary. We need a dr Patterson type like Nunavut.

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  5. Posted by Nobody is exempt on

    Those who don’t want to get vaccinated are using any excuse to avoid getting the needle. I did a little bit of research and nobody is exempt, even if they think they are allergic, there are options and nobody’s going to die from allergic reaction. COME ON, ALREADY!

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  6. Posted by Celina on

    The mayor of kuujjuaq made an announce on the local fm stating that there are still 5 cases of Covid in kuujjuaq and that the Delta variant is in Nunavik but did not say which village.
    This Delta variant is highly contagious. Stay away from others.

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  7. Posted by Peter on

    Interesting with the restrictions many people still visiting others, sharing drinks, joints, only takes 1 person to spread this deadly virus throughout the entire village. Also with our vaccine rate just over 50% it this gets spread, out of control the outcome will not be pleasant. So get vaccinated, stay home, be safe, be well my fellow citizens this too shall come to pass.

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    • Posted by No Peter on

      No Peter if your first sentence in you comment reference to behaviours, if theses behaviour cont, it will come to the end of life for many.

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  8. Posted by This is what’s needed on

    All that’s needed is for kuujjuaq is to allow only vaccinated people in the store after 4 from Monday to Thursday, and after 3 on Friday, plus only vaccinated from 1 to 5 on Saturday. That will almost certainly, immediately! Within a few days to a week, bring the vaccinated numbers up to the recommended level or above. Come on! we have endured other discomfort, in the name of booze, we can’t get booze on the day someone’s dies. What about if we had a whole bunch of people died from this Covid outbreak?

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    • Posted by It will do the job for sure on

      Nunavik is probably the only society on planet earth that by doing this restriction will accomplish the goal of vaccination. If any body with a touch of common sense can observe the coop stores in Our two beer selling villages during beer sales, it’s easy to see a unique scene of devastation in action, not for food, or vital supplies, not shopping for clothing or for children, but a desperate attempt to get a escape from responsibility. Show you vaccine code or no beer.

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  9. Posted by It the unvaccinated on

    Unvaccinated people are 6 to 8 times likely to contract COVID than those who are vaccinated.
    If someone you know is selfish and unvaccinated, please tell them to be responsible and do the right thing.

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    • Posted by Sulivutit on

      We try. We will continue to try. We are in this together. I’m glad you spoke the simple truth. It’s time people be responsible.

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  10. Posted by Hello Covid, good bye freedom on

    Covid is here, curfews and restrictions are going to be around for sometime. The numbers are climbing. But for anyone trying to fig out the break downs , you’ll have to do your own math, but there’s little available data given out to do even that. We do get the numbers of positive cases daily, but that’s about it. There’s nothing indicated on how many positive cases are vaccinated or not vaccinated. This being a missed opportunity to enhance the vaccination, if it shows something to that effect, like if it’s more people not vaccinated are getting it mostly.? But even if it don’t-show that, we have the right to know anyway. There’s no age groups mentioned. Unlike other parts of the province and the country, we are not getting a good picture in the demographics of Covid in Nunavik. We haven’t heard from a professional, like public health doctor since the beginning of this new Covid hit a few weeks ago. On our fm stations, there only a few locals, nonprofessional trained workers given out information, with no time for questioning, and we have no news reporters on the spot to do that either. We get information from Facebook, with limited interaction for questions. The problems are coming also from a population that’s not taking this Covid seriously. Many are known to mingle and mix after testing positive.

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    • Posted by Facebook is the devil on

      That’s the problem, people are getting their information from Facebook.

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