Nunavut imposes isolation for those travelling from N.W.T.

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IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut is suspending its common travel area with the Northwest Territories after a COVID-19 outbreak closed schools in Yellowknife.

The N.W.T. on Monday reported eight confirmed cases and 12 probable cases of COVID-19 at N.J. Macpherson School in Yellowknife. That caused all schools in the city to to be shut indefinitely.

Chief public health officer for the Northwest Territories, Dr. Kami Kandola, said most of those infected are children.

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut's chief public health officer, said anyone travelling to Nunavut from the N.W.T. must first isolate in Yellowknife for 14 days in a designated hotel.

Travellers who came into Nunavut from Yellowknife on or after last Wednesday must also immediately isolate for 14 days from the day they arrived.

There are exceptions for critical workers, anyone travelling for medical reasons and people with layovers on the same plane ticket.

Under Nunavut's public health measures, when one member of a household is isolating, all other household members must isolate, too.

"This includes households with an exempted critical worker or those with someone who has recently travelled from Iqaluit or the N.W.T. Those isolating must remain in their home for 14 days and should have groceries delivered or may only shop for food once per week if delivery is not possible," Patterson said.

Kandola said health officials were still investigating how COVID-19 entered the school and were determining whether the cases are related to an earlier cluster in the city in April.

Kandola also said while the N.W.T. is "on the brink" of community spread, all cases have been linked to the school outbreak so far.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2021.

The Canadian Press