This illustration, created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, shows the shape of coronaviruses. A second case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in Nunavik on April 1. (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Second case of COVID-19 identified in Nunavik

Public health reaching out to those who may have been in contact

By Elaine Anselmi

Updated on April 2

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Nunavik, in the community of Puvirnituq.

The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services announced the new case in a news release on Wednesday, April 1, saying the infected person is an adult and has been monitored in isolation since they were tested.

“The vast majority of patients infected by COVID-19 are able to recover at home and their state does not require hospitalization or intensive care,” said Marie Rochette, regional director of public health, in the release.

The board announced the second case the day before confirming the community it was found in, noting certain protocol must be followed before that information is made public.

That protocol includes informing the patient of the positive test and explaining how to properly isolate, alerting local authorities and reaching out to anyone that may have been in contact with that person, according to the board.

“Rest assured that the NRBHSS will keep the population aware of all pertinent information when appropriate. Wherever the case is, everyone, without exception, should act as if the case is in their own community. It could be anywhere,” reads a Facebook post from the health board.

The announcement comes just a few days after the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Nunavik was announced on March 28.

That person is in Salluit and has been in isolation following specific instructions from the health board.

Following the first diagnosed case, Nunavik authorities put a region-wide curfew in place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. to limit any potential transmission of the virus.

The health board has also reminded the public to maintain social distancing and cancel all gatherings—whether birthdays, weddings or dinner parties.

In each of Nunavik’s 14 communities, the health board has set up two spaces for triage and testing for the novel coronavirus, outside the regular health-care facilities.

The spaces are separated to avoid contamination, and there is no exchange of personnel.

A support team is also in place to speak with Nunavimmiut experiencing stress and anxiety because of the pandemic.

“It is normal to feel stressed and anxious during this period. The network [that] has developed means to help Nunavimmiut during this difficult time,” said Minnie Grey, executive director of the health board.

“We ask for everyone’s collaboration in complying with the municipal curfews. It is for everyone’s protection.”

To speak with a member of the support team about stress and anxiety, call 1-833-301-0296 from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The board also reminds everyone to follow these hygiene measures to minimize the risk of infection:

• Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.

• Maintain a distance of two metres apart from other people.

• Stay home as much as possible.

• Avoid visiting friends and family in enclosed spaces, such as houses and cabins, at all costs.

Residents are also reminded that, if you believe you may have been infected with COVID-19, do not go to your local nursing station or health centre. Contact the health information line at 1-888-662-7482 from Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Outside those hours, contact your local health facility.

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(24) Comments:

  1. Posted by Beer rules on

    It’s like the song. . All them after a day of curfew and deprivation of beer. All lined up at the Co-op store in kuujjuaq, as I drove by listening to the kuujjuaq mayor speaking on the fm , telling the population about the second confirmed case. The mayor told us all that the co-op store and northern store was doing great in how it was handling customers, but the other store in town needs to tighten up. Did anyone get a photo for the mayor, just to show him the incredible desire for the spread of the virus in line outside the co-op ? Some were being irritated as others were getting too close. Many were not worried because outdoors they say , it’s not possible to catch the virus. Wildfire spread has its recipe people, at your local co-op. You pay 62.00 for your overpriced beer, and may lead yourself and others to kingdom come, amen.

    • Posted by Magical Thinking on

      This is the problem, people just don’t take it seriously. I was in the Coop in Rankin a few days ago and, though they have green tape on the floor, the woman behind me walked right up to the opening by the plexi glass, giving me now where to go. My girlfriend was behind her and told me she laughed after I paid and left. Why? There really do need to be people monitoring these things because too many people either don’t care or take it seriously. When it does arrive in Nunavut, and I believe it eventually will, we are going to be in trouble. For now we are in a bit of a bubble, people imagining that Jesus is protecting us or some non-sense, but that won’t likely last. Not trying to be alarmist, but i don’t think we are as safe as we believe.

      • Posted by Jess on

        While I’m not religious, I do try to remind people “god helps those who helps themselves” to those that think they’re “in a bubble”.

        I hope Nunavik, Nunavut, Yk and NWT make it through this not too bad. But too many people think it won’t affect them.

        • Posted by She’s going to be bad on

          From what I’m witnessing in Nunavik, the potential for this to be very bad is there. Large lineups for beer. Groups driving around after picking up beers. Groups of young people going around, no physical distancing. Some sharing pop and cigarettes. Those people are not getting the message of seriousness. Very ignorant, unaware I think. With the curfew on, I heard skidoo’s still going around. Many adults and teenagers are acting childish. Because of the curfew, there seems to be this need to drive and go around, just before the 9 o’clock deadline, with the possibility of not making it inside before 9. Like little misbehaving children just because the curfew is so.

          • Posted by Magical Thinking on

            The potential for disaster in the north is undoubtedly increased by the saturation of ignorance and mistrust, even hostility toward science here.
            We are not alone in this though, look around the world and we see countless cases of religious groups gathering because they believe they are being protected by magic. it’s happened in South Korea, India, Romania, and the US (Google Liberty University-Coronavirus) or the grifter visited Iqaluit last year, Rodney-Howard Browne, arrested for holding services despite orders not to.
            It’s not only religion though, as you mentioned there is the childish defiance grounded by a youthful sense of immortality. Consider the dozens of kids from Austin Texas who went to Mexico for spring break and now have the coronavirus. Consider the exponential increases that will follow from that. Also consider Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who says the virus is not much more than a little flu. A widely held perception around the world, even in Nunavut, believe it or not. How many deaths will follow from this?
            Doesn’t it makes you wonder what could possibly motivate people with no obvious insight or understanding of the issue to pass such consequential judgements with such strong convictions?
            I had suffer through a conversation like this recently at work, where the person charged with looking after our ‘covid-19 response’ really wasn’t sure why it was a big deal. We often talk about the consequences of ignorance in our world, but right now they are being laid bare in front of us. I only hope this leads to a revolution in our ways of thought.

            Ignorance is not only not adaptable, it is a liability, we are seeing it in plain sight. Ignorance is not adaptable in a changing, dynamic and complex world. Surely we can see that now?

            • Posted by The ignorance on

              I just heard on air, someone claiming that it should be our number one thing to do by praising Jesus, and it will somehow save us from the virus. Yeah.. nah.. didn’t we learn the first time? Isn’t that why our people contracted TB and caused our own little epidemic on our home soil? Nomadic people gathering in the masses to pray, then bringing it home, spreading it within their family.

              I see this happening all over again. I know for a fact that religion isn’t the main cause of concern but it is a large one. Another is social gatherings at youth centres, house parties, coop, northern, and any metal objects in which the virus can live three days on. Coins, door knobs, etc! Any other material is up to three hours. I’d suggest that the stores force a no coin policy. Just put the change in the accounts of people after they do the cash counts. Limit people from spending more time than they should at the stores as most people just sit around hours on end, even if the max capacity of 50 people is implemented.

              The rate of spreading for any disease or virus or std in the north is insane!! We’ve seen it all our lives and we do nothing!! This is a deadly disease that’s killed nearly 50,000 people worldwide in just a matter of months!!

  2. Posted by Stop holding teachers hostage on

    What about the mental health of teachers that the health board is holding hostage and won’t allow to go home, because you want to use us as expendable labour, so you cancelled all the charter flights for us to go home? We are human beings too! We are all feeling incredibly anxious and isolated an lonely and abandoned right now. Thanks a lot healthboard, because of you Nunavik will have NO teachers next year, because we will all quit

    • Posted by You teacher on

      I thought the teachers were gone back home to southern. What’s this all about, that feeling of being hostage? Tell us some more about that please.

      • Posted by A lot of us are stuck on

        There are a lot of teachers stuck in Nunavik. I’ve been trying to go home since March 13. We had charter flights arranged for us to take us home, mine was supposed to be this weekend, but then the health board canceled all the charter flights for teachers to go home, because they want us to stay here and work and clean houses instead of going home to where our families can help us and be near us.

    • Posted by Mental health? on

      Mental health? In nunavik? Well, let me tell you that, for years, that has been something thrown out the door. As bad as it sounds, you’re SOL. It’s here and ain’t no one moving for non essential travels.

      • Posted by iRoll on

        There’s no reason these teachers can’t go home, there is no threat in allowing them to fly south. It’s needlessly cruel to keep them trapped in the community.

        • Posted by Mental health? on

          No threat? You seriously that ignorant? Airline workers could be exposed and would have to travel back because, we need our planes. My god. Two cases in nunavik is bad enough!

  3. Posted by Now the people will know on

    Those hot spots, like co-op. Could really be virus carrier epicentre. Then we will say: the people will know we were there. No Inukshuk needed.

    • Posted by UNGAVA on

      Its Friday afternoon , stuck indoors all week , going to the kuujjuaq beer line up , not to worry , I m will trained in social distancing. CHEERS

  4. Posted by Nunavik citizen. on

    ”…It is the most dangerouse virus today! Marie has it in Salluit, she is in quarantine, now somebody else has it too! We won’t say from where or who untill further notice, good luck nunavik people, I hope you don’t get sick from it.” -K.R.G.

    (Is it just me or are we being put to game of Deadly virus russian roulette? This is just wrong)

    • Posted by What you talk about? on

      What you talking about there Nunavik citizen? You make no sense. The part that you say is wrong! Explain.

  5. Posted by Nunavik citizen. on

    Not telling who and where it is right away is not right, telling that one of us is infected, the fact that he/she had contacted others (No otherway arround that) is scary, This just might be a scare tactic. Come to think of it, the strategy might help others to fallow the measure that are in place but this could also trigger panic, some could lose it and do bad things. I’m not optimist about this, it can be worse.

    • Posted by Don’t worry Nunavik citizen on

      Don’t worry Nunavik citizen, I understand your concern, but as I write this , it’s already told on radio which community. It takes some time to properly announce this because it’s needed to be correct and double checked. Talking about people might do bad things, just remember the good things that people are doing. Good outweighs all bad. Ask yourself, and ask people around you: what are you doing in this crisis that is good for yourself and all Nunavik citizen, ok Nunavik citizen ? You’ll be ok, as long as you are following the public health protocol. Take care.

  6. Posted by Withholding information to the public?? on

    Don’t withhold information from the public!! Tell us the name so that everyone that was in contact with them will self isolate!! The burden put on a sick person to remember who they came in contact with??? Think about it.. when we are sick we have a fuzzy memory, especially under stress. It’s better for people that show no symptoms and that were in contact or even close to the person to be coming out and telling the health board. This is the only way we will get rid of it. This isn’t a shameful virus. There are only 200-2900 people per community! We can screen our damn selves!

  7. Posted by Yes! on

    No more beer sales in pov! Yes! We get to sleep, and we get to have sober people! We get to have a break! So do the police! They should even stop the turenne orders for now!

    • Posted by This virus brings hope on

      This terrible virus has a silver lining. Of course, we are aiming for the best for all humanity. But when I hear it shut the booze sale in a place like puvirnituq, it’s a blessing from the virus. Only this is how long will such a blessing last?

    • Posted by Drunk on

      While you get to sleep and others won’t and can’t sleep, I hope you have night mares over the coronavirus! Because some people are really angry and they wonder where they will get their addiction!!! Hope you’re having nightmares!!!

      • Posted by Yes! on

        So you wish nightmares on me? Lol your wish didn’t work. Slept like a baby! If your alcoholism is the reason you can’t sleep, isn’t it a good sign you might have a drinking problem? It isn’t my fault nor anyone else’s but yours. Enjoy your nightmares. You brought it on yourself!

      • Posted by Yes! on

        Btw, the stuff drunks put us through.. we’ve been living a nightmare. Time for the drunks to wake up and see what they’ve done!

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