Stay home and healthy, says Nunavut’s chief medical officer
Government of Nunavut cancels duty travel, public events due to COVID-19 concerns
The Government of Nunavut is asking residents to stay home and avoid going to places where they could have an increased risk of infection from the new coronavirus, COVID-19.
Nunavummiut should avoid mass gatherings, refrain from travelling or going to community airports unless required, and limit visiting, said the GN’s chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, in a news release today.
“I understand this is an uncertain, evolving situation. It is normal to be concerned, but we are prepared,” Patterson said.
“The best course of action is to stay aware and use preventive measures: if you are sick, stay home; observe travel restrictions and listen to the advice of health professionals.”
The GN has put restrictions on government travel, he said.
And Patterson suggested that, “until further notice,” Nunavummiut should avoid international travel and reduce non-essential travel within Canada.
Travel within Nunavut is not restricted “at this time,” he said.
But all non-essential duty travel for GN employees has been cancelled, effective immediately, he said.
GN public events will be cancelled, he said, and international school-sponsored trips have been cancelled.
To encourage people who feel sick to stay home, the GN waived sick note requirements for employees last week.
Patterson recommended that other employers in Nunavut waive their requirements for sick notes.
“While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut, it is important that all measures are taken to minimize risks for Nunavummiut,” Patterson said. “The additional preventive steps we are taking today and our whole-of-government approach are aligned with nation-wide initiatives and will ensure the GN is ready should the situation change.”
Patterson said health centres in all communities have the necessary supplies and are ready to respond.
Increased sanitary measures are in effect in GN departments and airports, while schools across the territory have been directed to take hygiene and disinfecting measures and implement non-sharing protocols.
The Territorial Emergency Management Committee—made up of senior Health Department staff and representatives of all regions of Nunavut, along with Nunavut Emergency Management—will monitor the status of all territorial health facilities and coordinate the Health Department’s response to COVID-19 within the territory, Patterson said.
For more information on preventive measures advised by the Government of Nunavut, go to this website.