Nunavik grapples with growing COVID-19 outbreak
Active cases are present in 6 of the region’s 14 communities
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.”