Salluit put on ‘red alert’ as Nunavik reports 297 COVID-19 cases
Region keeps mandatory 10-day isolation for people who test positive, despite province’s loosening of rule
Salluit was put on “red alert” on Tuesday, the day after the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services reported a total of active 297 COVID-19 cases, including 119 new cases over the three days since Friday last week.
The active case count across Nunavik is slightly down from 301 on Friday, as the region had 123 reported recoveries from COVID-19.
Salluit’s new restrictions come after the community reported 14 new cases since Friday and a total of 22 active cases. Salluit, on the tip of the Ungava peninsula, is the sixth Nunavik community to be put on “red alert,” joining Kangiqsualujjuaq, Puvirnituq, Ivujivik, Kuujjuaq and Tasiujaq.
“Red alert” is the strictest of the public health restrictions in Nunavik. Gatherings are banned, and only essential services are open.
Salluit had previously been put on “red alert” in October, during Nunavik’s previous COVID-19 surge. The community, which accounts for the highest number of infections in the region, has also had 501 recovered COVID-19 cases. The health board’s most recently released immunization data, from Dec. 17, shows that Salluit has had the lowest vaccination rate in the region with 42 per cent.
Kangiqsualujjuaq maintains the highest case count in the region with 84 active cases, 36 of which are new since Friday. Puvirnituq has the second-highest with 77 active cases and 27 new cases since Friday.
COVID-19 was reported in every Nunavik village except Kangirsuk on Monday. All communities not on “red alert” are under a lockdown, which allows limited essential gatherings.
The health board also announced Monday that everyone in Nunavik, regardless of vaccination status, would have to isolate for 10 days if they test positive for COVID-19. This rule is stricter than the Quebec government’s rules; for the rest of the province, fully vaccinated individuals must isolate for only five days after testing positive, and unvaccinated individuals must isolate for 10.
“The realities are not the same, therefore actions are taken accordingly to protect the region and our priorities,” the health board said, explaining the rules.