Masks now mandatory in Rankin Inlet after 1 case of COVID-19 reported

·2 min read
Nunavut health officials have mandated wearing masks in public spaces in Rankin Inlet after identifying one new case of COVID-19 in the community. (NIAID Integrated Research Facility/Reuters - image credit)
Nunavut health officials have mandated wearing masks in public spaces in Rankin Inlet after identifying one new case of COVID-19 in the community. (NIAID Integrated Research Facility/Reuters - image credit)

A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, prompting health officials to mandate the wearing of masks in all public spaces in the community.

In a Friday news release, the territory's acting chief public health officer, Dr. Rosann Seviour, said the individual who was found to have COVID-19 returned to Rankin Inlet last Sunday from outside the territory.

"[The individual] was symptomatic prior to travel … [and] was confirmed COVID-19 positive by the lab in Rankin Inlet [Thursday] evening," said Seviour in the release.

She added that the individual has been medevaced to a hospital in southern Canada and that all household contacts are isolating at home.

The case is currently the only active one in the territory.

"Contact tracing is ongoing and the risk to the community is considered low at this time," the release reads.

The release states that out of an "abundance of caution, masks are now mandatory in all public spaces in Rankin Inlet." It added that there won't any other change to public health measures in the community.

The release also stated the case is not linked to the positive wastewater signals detected last week.

"Rankin Inlet has a large percentage of its eligible population fully vaccinated, which will help protect the population from COVID-19. I encourage everyone who is eligible for the vaccine to get it. It will help protect people from severe illness and hospitalization," said Health Minister Lorne Kusugak in the release.

Nunavut has had 658 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Of those, 653 have recovered and four people have died, according to the governments website.

Nunavut health officials are asking anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to isolate immediately and call the COVID-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, or notify their community health centre right away.

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