The northern regions of Quebec, including Nunavik, have now been elevated to orange, while the southern region of Quebec, including Montreal and Quebec City, remain red, the province’s highest alert. (Image courtesy of Quebec government)

Quebec puts Nunavik on alert over holidays

Region maintains indoor gathering maximum of 10 people and 250 people for outdoor events

By Nunatsiaq News

(Updated at 10 a.m.)

Quebec’s COVID-19 alert map has gone orange and red for the holidays.

That means some regions, including Nunavik, are set to see temporarily tightened measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 over the holidays.

As of Dec. 17, the province has elevated the region of Nunavik from a yellow, level two status, which means “early warning,” to a level three, orange status, which means “alert.”

But while that would normally mean fewer people permitted at both indoor and outdoor gatherings, Nunavik health officials said they worked with the province to adapt those guidelines to accommodate the region.

“The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services pushed and explained to the province that we needed adjustments to better reflect our reality and have measures that are proportional to the actual risk,” stated Dr. Marie Rochette, Nunavik’s director of public health, in an email to Nunatsiaq News Dec. 18.

That means the number of people permitted at private indoor gatherings remains at 10, and not six, as would normally be enforced in an orange zone.

“Otherwise, the majority of families would not be able to receive guests during the holiday season,” Rochette said.

Outdoor gatherings in Nunavik can still have up to a maximum of 250 people.

And while visitors are not permitted to visit long-term care homes in Quebec’s orange zones, Rochette said that in Nunavik, two people can visit elders who live in assisted living residences.

Rochette said health officials advise against indoor public activities, like the Christmas games typically held in community centres over the holidays, but if they are held, a maximum of 25 people are allowed to attend.

As with any gathering, she said physical distancing should be practised for people who are not from the same household.

There will be a gradual return to class at Nunavik’s schools between Jan. 11 and 20, depending on the return of teachers who have travelled south over their holiday break, which will require them to quarantine before returning to work.

Restaurants and bars can host up to six people per table and must end the sale of alcohol by 11 p.m.

Though there are no other orange zone measures that apply to Nunavik, the region will remain at a level three alert until Jan. 11.

Most other northern regions of Quebec have now also been elevated to orange, while the southern region of Quebec, including Montreal and Quebec City, remains red, the province’s highest alert.

Nunavik has seen 12 positive cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of September, though they have been largely isolated.


An earlier version of this story reflected Quebec’s orange zone restrictions first announced Dec. 16, which were then revised by the Nunavik health board on Dec. 18.

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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by 91-divoC on

    So sad of you “Mankind “ that believe so easily their lies..😵😵😵

  2. Posted by waiting on

    We are fine here, this virus is so smart that our leaders are now afraid of it, we are all fine up here.

  3. Posted by waiting on

    I hope these people will get vaccinated first, it is all hocus pocus from here on, we don’t believe your lies anymore.

    • Posted by Have faith he said on

      What don’t you believe? Ok, how do I become convinced in your belief? Tell us more. Explain your knowledgeable, none believing lies of those around you.

  4. Posted by Covidiot on

    Seeing covidiots coming from under everywhere since the pandemic. You’ll get the idiots that are not taking it seriously, along with those in professional jobs of Nunavik, unqualified for their roles. The two meet often to spread information, one being false by the ignorance, and the other so called professionals trying to get their name, picture and 10 cents worth of useless speeches in. Just look at bit harder if you don’t see it. Maybe when the vaccine vial arrives in January, it’ll have the health board directors picture on the label. Worshiping welcomes to the idiots.

  5. Posted by Puts on alert on

    Put on alert. They should do something about some radio shows in some communities. There’s no peace unless you turn around t off, yes I turn off. There Christmas Day, a time of peace and joy, with radio fm having these simple dice guessing games, where the announcer says merry Christmas to every caller, depleting the Christmas name out of shape.Once in awhile an intoxicated preen gets a call in to mess with the silly simple little games. It’s degrading. Put a stop to that. These are he same people trying to delay the vaccine, we’re in trouble.

  6. Posted by Just saying , not doing on

    Nunavik lives and breaths on rumors. With social media like Facebook, the life of the rumor has found the grounds to spread, its like a virus, punty, punt, punt. Now when it comes to decision making, it’s interesting how otherwise professionals bend down to the low level of a rumor for policies. Professionals, supposedly educated, lots of common knowledge dragged into the rumor game to no public advantage, as rumors are never in public interest. There’s a rumor, or maybe someone can clarify that it’s not a rumor, that the public health and the mayor are making their decisions to have or not have the vaccine given out in Nunavik, determined on the rumor of fears on Facebook. Is that a rumor , or a double rumor! And is it the professionals allowing the rumor to win over the reality of the need? Just saying , you know , not doing , like is common in Nunavik.

  7. Posted by Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays on

    Out regional board of health and social services are wishing us all happy holidays this Christmas, not merry Christmas. Merry Christmas not acceptable anymore, and if so , says who for what reason. I’m sure this is not in Inuit traditional greetings to say happy holidays! Instead of merry Christmas, or is it covid-19, new ways to greet? Please dear health board have more local people displaying and greeting us at this time of year. Surely only a southerners political correctness here, and it needs addressing.

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