COVID-19 outbreak in Whale Cove declared over

·2 min read

The COVID-19 outbreak in Whale Cove has been declared over, the government of Nunavut said in a Thursday news release.

Public health restrictions in the community of about 435 will be loosened at midnight tonight.

The limit for indoor gatherings will be increased to a household plus 15 people. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 100 people while community halls, conference spaces, government and Inuit organization facilities will be restricted to 50 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less, according to the news release.

"Although restrictions are being loosened in the community, no one should let their guard down. The COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, and I encourage all Nunavummiut to continue to follow public health measures to protect themselves and others," said Dr. Michael Patterson, the territory's chief public health officer, in the statement.

"Physical distancing must be maintained in public, and masks are strongly recommended," states the release.

In-person learning for elementary school students

Inuglak School will move from stage 3 to stage 2 of the territory's 2021 opening plan for Nunavut schools.

This means elementary school students will attend class in person full-time, five days a week, while middle and high school students will attend school in person two to three days a week, supplemented with remote learning when they aren't in class.

The community has had 23 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Everyone has recovered and there are no active cases in the community.

Public health restrictions eased somewhat in Whale Cove on Jan. 12, as no new COVID-19 cases had been reported in the community during the previous two weeks.

At the time, Patterson said it would take until the end of the month to declare the outbreak over.

It takes 28 days from the time of the last recovered case to declare an end to an outbreak, Patterson has said.