Eight more new confirmed cases have been identified in Nunavut as of Monday afternoon, bringing the cases in Nunavut to 26. 

“Overnight we confirmed six new cases in Arviat and two in Rankin Inlet,” said chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson during a press conference at the Nunavut Legislative Assembly on Nov. 16

Michael Patterson speaking at a Nov. 6 news conference on the first confirmed case of covid-19 in Nunavut.
Trevor Wright/NNSL photo.

There are also concerns about the possibility of Arviat residents travelling out of the community on or after the Nov. 2 date of first infection.

“Right now we know that there were people in Arviat who left before the initial case was identified, some of whom have been named as contacts who we’ve been in touch with,” said Patterson.

Concern that the virus might spread to other communities is what led to the decision to go into a territorial-wide lockdown in Nunavut, effective Wednesday.

“Others may have been exposed so that raises that concern,” said Patterson. “It will take one to two weeks to know if the measures that we put in Arviat last week are effective.” 

Masks are now mandatory in the Kivalliq region and in Sanikiluaq, but not in the rest of the territory, however, use of masks is strongly recommended across Nunavut.

“We’ve debated a lot about that, but where lots of people don’t have masks they’ll need some time to get them,” Patterson said. “We wanted to give at least some option for other areas but obviously it would be preferable if everybody who could (wear a mask), wore a mask.”

Anyone who has reason to believe they have been exposed to Covid-19 is advised to call the Covid-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST, or to notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days. Please do not go to the health centre in person.

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