Nunavut to ease lockdown as COVID-19 cases fall

Territory reports total of 73 recovered cases; four new cases in Arviat

Four new COVID-19 cases were reported in Arviat Monday, though the number of active cases across Nunavut dropped to 108. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

A Nunavut-wide lockdown, in effect for two weeks, will begin to ease for most of the territory’s communities starting Wednesday, government officials say.

The exception is in Arviat, where public health restrictions will remain as they are, including travel restrictions to and from the community. This will be reassessed after two weeks, on Dec. 16.

That’s because there is still evidence of community transmission in Arviat, said Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, at a news conference Monday.

Across the territory, the number of active COVID-19 cases continues to fall — to 108 on Monday from 112 on Sunday.

Restrictions are being loosened in Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove, although those communities still have active cases of COVID-19. Patterson said people there with the virus have been identified and transmission is limited to within households.

In those communities, the strict public health measures now in place are more harmful than the threat of COVID-19 because they prevent people from living normal lives, Patterson said. But “a new outbreak of COVID-19 could impact any or all of these restrictions at any time,” he said.

In Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove:

  • Travel restrictions will be lifted, although Patterson “strongly” advises against non-essential travel.
  • Outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people.
  • Indoor gatherings are limited to households plus 10 people.
  • Masks are strongly recommended.
  • Indoor gatherings at community halls and conference spaces in government and Inuit organization facilities is limited to 50 per cent capacity or 50 people.
  • Recreation centres and gyms are open for solo workouts.
  • Libraries and galleries can open, but tours and group gatherings are not allowed.
  • Places of worship can open to 50 per cent capacity, but with no singing.
  • Playgrounds, parks and reserves can open, but buildings will stay closed.
  • Businesses and government offices can open.
  • Some personal service providers can open, but not hairdressers and barbers.
  • Food services and licensed establishments can open for takeout and delivery, with lineups limited to 10 people, spaced two metres apart.
  • Schools will move to stage three of reopening.
  • Daycares can open.
  • Taxis will be limited to one fare person and masks are mandatory.


For the rest of Nunavut:

  • Restaurants and bars can open with two metres between tables and six people to a table.
  • Outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people, while indoor gatherings are limited to 15 plus household members.
  • door gatherings in community halls and conference spaces are limited to 50 people or 50 per cent capacity.
  • Lane swimming in pools and solo workouts in gyms are allowed, and hot tubs and saunas may open.
  • Arenas can open with limited capacity.
  • Theatres can open with up to 50 people or 50 per cent of capacity.
  • Libraries, galleries and museums can open with groups sizes of up to 10.
  • Places of worship can open with up to 50 people or 50 per cent of capacity and singing is allowed.
  • Daycares can open.
  • Parks and playgrounds can open.
  • Offices can open.
  • All physical service providers can open.
  • Taxis can pick up multiple passengers if the first passenger gives consent and masks are mandatory.

As of Monday, Nunavut had 108 people who have COVID-19 and 73 people who have recovered.

Four more cases were announced on Monday in Arviat and there are 86 people in total who are infected there. In total, 53 people in Arviat have recovered from the disease.

There are 21 people still infected in Whale Cove, and seven people there have recovered.

In Rankin Inlet, there are 19 people infected now, and 11 in total have recovered.

Monitoring continues in Sanikiluaq but both people who were positive are now recovered. Contact tracing there is complete, and the rapid response team is no longer working there, a Health Department spokesperson confirmed on Monday.

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Qavvigarjuk on

    Being a Rankin inlet resident I am deeply concerned that we must go back to work while we still have active Covid cases here and masks are NOT mandatory indoors; outside your household. Yes ,known cases are in known households, but we are the travel hub here, we are still getting people from the south everyday who are not tested first. New CDC research from the states where they have a lot of cases show that up to 50 percent of people with covid are assymptomatic and spreading covid. Winnipeg is a red hot zone for covid with 14 percent positivity rate. . Please make wearing masks at workplaces, stores mandatory in communities with active cases of covid. I am scared of going back to work without mandatory masks indoors where most if our offices have poor ventilation.!!!

  2. Posted by Kangiq&inirmiuttaq on

    Stage 3 states to reopen the schools, “this stage will occur approx. 10-28 days AFTER THE LAST identified case of Covid-19 moves into recovery”. But the news said yesterday that the schools will operate at 50% with active cases still here in Rankin Inlet!!! How do we know if the people with the virus listens to rules?!?! I would understand if the staff report back to work/school to make work packages and clean the schools. There is no room for social distance in a classroom of 10+ students if it’s going to operate at 50%.

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