Pond Inlet is 10th Nunavut community with COVID-19
GN now reporting when presumptive cases arrive in a new community, no longer waiting for confirmation
Pond Inlet, a hamlet of 1,800 people on the northern tip of Baffin Island, is the tenth Nunavut community where COVID-19 has been detected since Dec. 21.
The territory’s chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson announced a new case of the respiratory illness in Pond Inlet, although the case is not yet officially on the territory’s list of confirmed cases.
There are 127 active cases across Nunavut as of Friday, an increase of 40 from the day before.
A Government of Nunavut news release listed the number of confirmed cases by community (in alphabetical order):
- Arviat — 23
- Baker Lake — 1
- Igloolik — 9
- Iqaluit — 39
- Pangnirtung — 14
- Qikiqtarjuaq — 2
- Rankin Inlet — 30
- Sanirajak — 9
Cases in Pond Inlet and Cambridge Bay are pending confirmatory testing, the release states. On Thursday, the GN reported Cambridge Bay was the ninth community where COVID-19 had been detected.
Friday’s announcement marked a change in the way the Government of Nunavut’s Health Department reports cases.
Patterson said the Government of Nunavut is no longer waiting for confirmation of test results to announce COVID-19’s arrival in a community that didn’t previously have any cases. It will report presumptive positive results in a new community in order to “immediately respond to the arrival of COVID-19 in a new community.”
“We’re doing this to be proactive in our response to possible introductions of COVID-19 and to ensure we are able to track, trace and isolate the virus quickly,” Patterson said.
The change means case counts might look different for a few days. But, moving forward, the GN will only formally post confirmed case numbers, Patterson said.
The GN issued a reminder that strict public health measures are in place across the territory until at least Jan. 17, along with restrictions on travel to and from Arviat, Igloolik, Iqaluit, Pangnirtung, Rankin Inlet and Sanirajak, being limited to essential purposes only.
People who develop COVID-19 symptoms should call the GN’s hotline at 1-888-975-8601. The GN asked people to be patient because there are longer-than-normal wait times to get through. The government reminded people not to go to a health centre in person.
COVID-19 symptoms include runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever or difficulty breathing.
Vaccines are available to everyone over the age of five years. Booster shots are available to people who are 18 years old and older whose second dose was at least four and a half months ago. For teens between 12 and 17, boosters are available six months after their second dose.