Whale Cove sees first presumptive case of COVID-19
Outbreaks in many Nunavut communities testing health system’s capacity, says territory’s chief public health officer
Updated on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 at 11:50 a.m.
Nunavummiut are urged to follow public health orders as COVID-19 has appeared in another community and multiple outbreaks continue to stretch the health-care system’s capacity.
Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, announced a first presumptive case in Whale Cove on Wednesday, giving the disease a presence in 12 of Nunavut’s 25 communities.
“Managing this many simultaneous outbreaks is testing the limits of our capacity,” he said in a news release.
Patterson announced 21 new confirmed cases in the territory on Wednesday, 18 in Iqaluit and three in Qikiqtarjuaq.
The total active case count is now 231, without counting presumptive cases.
Patterson urged Nunavummiut to stay calm and commit to following public health orders.
“On behalf of health-care staff in all our communities, please help us manage this wave and allow us to prioritize those who need help the most,” he said in the release.
Active case breakdown:
- Arviat — 48
- Baker Lake — 1
- Cambridge Bay — 1
- Chesterfield Inlet — 2
- Igloolik — 15
- Iqaluit — 72
- Kinngait — 7
- Pangnirtung — 19
- Pond Inlet — 1
- Qikiqtarjuaq — 6
- Rankin Inlet — 45
- Sanirajak — 14
- Sanikiluaq — 0 confirmed cases (and 1 presumptive case)
- Whale Cove — 0 confirmed cases (and 1 presumptive case)
There were no recovered cases on Wednesday and a total of 16 cases have recovered since the current outbreak was detected.
The Health Department said corrections were made to Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet’s case counts because of a double count and a miscount. There has been a total of 16 recoveries in this outbreak.
Travel is limited to essential purposes only for Arviat, Cambridge Bay, Igloolik, Iqaluit, Kinngait, Pangnirtung, Rankin Inlet and Sanirajak.
Strict Nunavut-wide public health orders will stay in place until at least Jan. 17:
- Gatherings in homes limited to household members plus five for emergencies
- All indoor gathering outside of homes are not allowed, including group counselling sessions
- Five people may gather outdoors
- Essential services like grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies are open, limited to one shopper per household
- Gyms, arenas, churches and personal services like chiropractors and hair dressers are closed
- Schools are closed until Jan. 17
- Bars are closed and restaurants may open for take-out only
- Daycares are only open for children of essential workers
- Qikiqtani General Hospital is open for emergencies only
- Visitors are not allowed in long-term care facilities or boarding homes
If anyone develops symptoms of COVID-19, the Government of Nunavut advises them to call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-975-8601.
Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok, Human Resources Minister Adam Lightstone and Dr. Patterson are scheduled to hold an update on the COVID-19 situation at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday.
Correction: This article has been updated to correct the date for the reopening of schools. Schools are scheduled to reopen on Jan. 17.