Nunavut government announces presumptive COVID-19 case in Taloyoak
7 people hospitalized by territory’s wave of outbreaks
COVID-19 appears to have made its way into over half of Nunavut’s communities, the most recent being Taloyoak.
The community’s one case is still a presumptive positive until confirmed by a lab, according to Dr. Michael Patterson, the territory’s chief public health officer.
The Department of Health announced Tuesday that Nunavut’s active case count has dipped under the 200-mark for the first time since Jan. 2 with a total of 192 active cases.
This is in part because confirmatory tests are now being rationed in the territory, Patterson explained, but also because a backlog of recovered tests was cleared over the weekend.
This explains the 81 recovered cases reported on Saturday.
“It’s an incomplete picture of what’s going on,” Patterson said, when asked about only confirmed cases being reported, while less testing is being done.
Despite confirmatory tests being rationed, Patterson said there are enough tests in the communities to confirm cases as needed — like when a new household is affected, or a first case is suspected in a community — and more can be sent from Iqaluit’s stockpile if needed.
There have been seven hospitalizations from the current wave of COVID-19 outbreaks, said Sima Sahar Zerehi, the press secretary for Nunavut’s premier, P.J. Akeeagok.
Five new cases and 26 recoveries were reported on Tuesday, the recoveries being in Cambridge Bay, Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Arviat.
Patterson said there is still evidence of community transmission in communities.
“It’s one of the most infectious agents that we know of right now,” Patterson said about the Omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Now, the focus is to protect those who are most vulnerable and those working in critical service areas, Patterson said.
Premier Akeeagok encouraged Nunavummiut to stay home, get vaccinated and get a booster shot.
“We all need to do our part to keep our community safe,” he said.
Active case breakdown:
- Arviat — 21
- Cambridge Bay — 16
- Chesterfield Inlet — 4
- Igloolik — 2
- Iqaluit — 55
- Kinngait — 22
- Pangnirtung — 8
- Pond Inlet — 1
- Qikiqtarjuaq — 4
- Rankin Inlet — 35
- Sanirajak — 8
- Sanikiluaq — 1
- Whale Cove — 7
- Coral Harbour — 8
Two new exposure notices were issued on Tuesday for Canadian North flights going to Iqaluit and Sanirajak. Another was issued on Monday for a flight to Rankin Inlet.
The GN is asking all passengers on these flights to self-monitor for symptoms until specific dates, whether they are vaccinated or not.
New flight exposure notices:
- Canadian North flight #5T238 from Yellowknife to Rankin Inlet on Jan. 2 — self-monitor until Jan. 16
- Canadian North flight #5T103 from Ottawa to Iqaluit on Jan. 8 — self-monitor until Jan. 22
- Canadian North flight #5T103 from Iqaluit to Sanirajak on Jan. 8 — self-monitor until Jan. 22
- Calm Air flight #MO300 from Winnipeg to Rankin Inlet on Jan. 6 — self-monitor until Jan. 20