Premier Akeeagok tests positive for COVID-19

·1 min read

Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok announced Friday he is isolating after testing positive for COVID-19.

Akeeagok, his cabinet ministers and staff are isolating in their hotel rooms in Naujaat, where they were participating in a cabinet retreat, according to a statement issued Friday afternoon from the premier’s office.

No other ministers or staff have tested positive or are experiencing any symptoms, the news release said.

“I was feeling mild cold symptoms and immediately acquired a test,” Akeeagok said. “I will be isolating until I am cleared for travel back to Iqaluit.”

He encouraged community members in Naujaat with whom he had been in contact in the past 24 hours — since Thursday afternoon — to isolate if they start experiencing symptoms or test positive.

A community feast scheduled for Friday night was cancelled.

“As I am fully vaccinated, I am only experiencing mild symptoms,” Akeeagok said.

“I want to remind Nunavummiut that the vaccine and boosters are our best line of defense against COVID-19. It is an important step in keeping our families and communities safe.”

The territorial Department of Health warned people Thursday to prepare for a winter COVID-19 wave by making sure they are up to date on their vaccinations.

Nunavummiut starting as young as six months old are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The release noted anyone with questions about the coronavirus can phone the COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-975-8601.

Jeff Pelletier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Nunatsiaq News