Red Cross, feds to deploy 8 nurses in Nunavut

Nurses will provide support in 4 communities with COVID-19 outbreaks

Dr. Michael Patterson, the territory’s chief public health officer, says the eight nurses who are travelling to Nunavut to help communities deal with their COVID-19 outbreaks will be doing testing, contact-tracing or administering vaccines — whatever the community needs. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Eight nurses from the south will be travelling to four Nunavut communities to help the territory’s battle against COVID-19.

The federal government has sent two nurses to Rankin Inlet, while six nurses from Red Cross will travel to Baker Lake, Taloyoak and Igloolik — “the communities currently with the most COVID-19 cases outside of Iqaluit,” said Health Minister John Main on Tuesday.

Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson said the nurses will be working on anything COVID-19-related, but specifics will depend on the needs of the community.

“It could be testing, it could be contact-tracing, it could be administering vaccines, or all of the above, depending upon what the community needs,” Patterson said.

Last month, Premier P.J. Akeeagok announced the federal government was sending up three nurses to help ease staff shortages in Nunavut. At the time, it was unclear when the nurses, who all had experience working in Nunavut, were to arrive.

There are 366 positive cases of COVID-19 in the territory, as of Tuesday.

Main also provided an update on the outbreak at the elders home in Cambridge Bay.

He said 13 staff and elders have tested positive for COVID-19, but every elder is fully vaccinated and has received a booster shot.

“[That] will reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalization,” he said.

Main, who reminds Nunavummiut to get vaccinated, said Health Department staff have administered more than 4,300 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines since Dec. 21, and a total of 12,520 booster shots.

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(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by Decolonize health care on

    Why are we importing nurses only to send money down south? We should be hiring local shamans!

    • Posted by SJW on

      Leeches, burning sage, and antlers aren’t gonna do much for alcohol poisoning or accidental decapitation’s.

  2. Posted by Ask Some Questions on

    Do journalists ask any questions anymore or just recycle GN news conferences? Why do they need to use nurses from the CAF and not redeploy those in local health centres? Where is the nursing agency contract? Why is John Main’s department not a) retaining nurses or b) hiring new ones? How many nurses have left and how many have been hired since Jan 1 2020?

  3. Posted by Beleaver on

    We need more nurses on every community in Nunavut. Not just in affected or most affected communities. Even before Covid-19, all nurses working in Nunavut were burned out. Nunavut lacks everything!

    • Posted by Ian on

      Budget 2.5 billion 38,thousand people we need more money.

      • Posted by confused on

        Open Beer and Wine/ Cannabis store in every Nunavut community, tax high but make it more affordable than what the Bootleggers charge.
        better yet, remove all mining company’s out of Nunavut and run the mining.

        • Posted by Confused is right on

          “remove all mining company’s out of Nunavut and run the mining…” [into the ground].

          What a joke… unbelievable that people seriously think non-sense like this. But they do…

        • Posted by Anguttialook on

          Yes I the mines Ala it in the ground..take nti with it

  4. Posted by MARS on

    Across Canada, both provincial/territorial, and federal governments have allowed our healthcare system to fail. This has been happening since before covid.

    Well, here we are as a result.

  5. Posted by Hearing that these Nurses will be redirected on

    Grise Fiord or Resalute bay have big cases. People not getting told what to do. Town is in troubble. Need help now. Bad

Comments are closed.