Stay home and healthy, says Nunavut’s chief medical officer

Government of Nunavut cancels duty travel, public events due to COVID-19 concerns

The Nunavut government is asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel to reduce the risk of exposure to the new coronavirus, COVID-19. (File photo)

By Jane George

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.

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by a on

    Once we peel away the hysteria, political agendas and misinformation we will see that the fuss about the COVID 19 virus is a classic example of the emperor-has-no-clothes.

    In the past three months, nearly 5,500 people have died worldwide from contracting the corona virus. In that same three month period, 100,000 people have died worldwide from the common flu virus and more than 4,000,000 have died from other communicable diseases caused by viruses and bacteria.

    In nearly all of that mortality the death rate and the transmission rate are considerably higher than the COVID 19 virus.

    Is it any wonder what people will buy?

    • Posted by Are you stupid?? on

      Are you insane??? Please google covid-19 and Italy and READ every news item there. You obviously are self-interest group and your messenging is not only wrong but highly dangerous. This virus will kill alot of elders in the north within two weeks. So grow a heart and shut the fuck up.

    • Posted by Common on

      I agree no one should be hysterical or providing misinformation so it’s unfortunate that you have decided to do so. This is not about fearing the worst, this is about not overwhelming the health care system. Please read more information about “flattening the curve”. If 200 people need hospitalization over a three month long period, that is not as dire than if 200 people need medical attention within a week Or two. It is to avoid the situation where hospitals need to decide who lives or dies based on their ability to treat everyone or send people home to die.

    • Posted by Watcher on

      One HUGE difference between the flu and COVID-19, aside from the higher morbidity and mortality rates, is that there is NO VACCINE and NO TREATMENT! Unlike influenza, where you can be given antivirals to reduce the severity, there are no effective antivirals for COVID-19. Please don’t spread opinions, just the facts.

  2. Posted by Observer on

    One wonders if you’re badly misinformed or deliberately spreading falsehoods. COVID-19’s mortality rate is currently over 10 times the death rate of the common flu, and in some locations far higher. Italy’s medical system is stretched to the breaking point, and Iran appears to be digging (and filling) mass graves. You want to be an ignorant idiot, go cozy up to the US government. Otherwise, shut up while people are trying to carry out preventive measures to save lives.

  3. Posted by Ray Donovan on

    In a way we are lucky here, Just shut down air travel between IQ and ottawa with the exception of freight. Rearrange medical travel so that only emergencies are dealt with. Close the schools. The point is….at what point is the right moment?

  4. Posted by Traveler on

    For , the people that are going to stay home for 2 week , you should watch the movie(google it) OUTBREAK , starring Dustin Huffman .

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