Nunavut closing its COVID-19 hotline Jan. 31

GN struck $3-million deal to keep its hotline running for three years in 2021

Nunavummiut seeking information about the coronavirus will be able to access it through the Government of Nunavut’s COVID-19 website moving forward. They can also contact a public health unit or local health-care centre. (Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

By Nunatsiaq News

The Government of Nunavut is closing its COVID-19 hotline on Jan. 31.

In announcing the move in a news release Thursday, the GN didn’t offer an explanation for the planned shutdown or provide updated information on the state of COVID-19 cases in Nunavut.

In 2021, the GN struck a $3-million deal with Ottawa-based health and information technology company Calian to keep its COVID-19 hotline running for the next three years. Prior to that, the hotline was run by Virtue Care Inc.

After Jan. 31, Nunavummiut seeking information about the coronavirus will still be able to get it through the GN’s COVID-19 website, and can also contact a public health unit or local health care centre.

The territorial government launched the hotline in early 2020 to answer questions specifically related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Registered nurses have been providing COVID-19 screening, contact tracing and public health education as part of it.  They also have been doing contact tracing and providing daily monitoring calls for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are under isolation.

The Department of Health did not respond to an interview request in time for publication Thursday.



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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by any rfp? on

    were any of these contracts put to tender? $1m a year to field calls from such a small population seems excessive

    • Posted by Northern Inuit on

      look a variant!

      I mean, shhhhhh.

  2. Posted by 867 on

    How many people actually made use of this hotline? I’ll guess a big fat zero.

    • Posted by COVID hotline caller on

      I called the COVID hotline when I had symptoms and it was trash. In the end, I called Public Health and didn’t get much better information but at least it didn’t cost $1M a year. I made an appointment, got tested, got some information (mixed quality) but didn’t feel scammed or annoyed as I did calling that COVID hotline.

  3. Posted by Lynda on

    Geez. I just had COVID all of last week. I was super impressed with the treatment I got through the COVID hotline. The nurse had a bunch of questions for me and then advised me that a doctor would call from ER at the Hospital shortly. Shortly after, the ex CPHO, Dr. Patterson, called from the ER asking me some questions and then instructed me to come into the OPD to be seen by the TRIAGE Nurse. She would take my vitals and then consult him and then the Anti-Viral drug, Paxlovid would be issued. From contacting the hotline to being passed the meds, it was all done in three hours. I did not have to suffer a many hour wait in the OPD waiting room. What for Iqalummiut who are suffering COVID symptoms now? A many hour wait in the OPD waiting room?

  4. Posted by inuk on

    all that money just to be told go to the health center and telling me to tell them I had covid 🙁

  5. Posted by S on

    I think that hotline was in place for nearly three years; so,,,bad news, three years of waste.

    Good news too, though; it was only three years of waste


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