Second case of COVID-19 identified in Nunavik
Public health reaching out to those who may have been in contact
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.