13 new COVID-19 cases reported in Arviat

·2 min read

The Nunavut government is reporting 13 new cases of COVID-19 in Arviat Sunday and tightening public health restrictions in an effort to contain the spread.

"Travel to and from the community is restricted. Schools are closed, all gatherings and non-essential services are suspended," Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut's Chief Public Health Officer, said in a news release on Sunday.

"Indoor gatherings are restricted to household members and an additional five people for emergencies only. Masks continue to be mandatory."

There are now a total of 15 cases in the community.

The territorial government says the cluster of cases involves multiple households. It says all the people who have tested positive are asymptomatic, doing well and isolating.

The government says contact tracing is ongoing and it's working to determine how the cases are linked.

We need to stay stronger, more aware and more careful than ever. - Premier Joe Savikataaq

The government is advising anyone who has travelled to and from Arviat since Jan. 19 to limit their contacts and monitor for symptoms. They are also asked to get in touch with their local health centre or Iqaluit public health.

Nunavut's Rapid Response Team is working with the community health team remotely, and more support is set to arrive in Arviat in the next 48 hours, says the release.

Nunavut reported zero active cases of COVID-19 on Jan. 3.

On Friday, Arviat reported Nunavut's first new case of COVID-19 since Dec. 28. A second new case was reported on Saturday.

The community has had a total of 236 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, accounting for about 80 per cent of Nunavut's 280 total confirmed cases.

Vaccines available in Arviat

The Nunavut government says COVID-19 vaccine doses are available in Arviat and residents should contact the health centre to make an appointment to get vaccinated.

"I know how hard all Nunavummiut have been working since the start of the pandemic, and especially over the past two months. Unfortunately, COVID doesn't care much about that," Premier Joe Savikataaq said in Sunday's news release.

"We need to stay stronger, more aware and more careful than ever."

Savikataaq added that, "Arviammiut have always shown their resilience and adaptability," and said he's proud of everyone in his home community.

"[I] ask that you remain more vigilant than ever. Please do not visit and make sure to stay home as much as possible," he said. "I'm sending you all strength and hope."