Public health measures easing in Kivalliq region this week

·2 min read
Arviat, and communities across the Kivalliq region in Nunavut, will see public health restrictions ease starting Wednesday. (Submitted by Dylan Clark - image credit)
Arviat, and communities across the Kivalliq region in Nunavut, will see public health restrictions ease starting Wednesday. (Submitted by Dylan Clark - image credit)

Public health restrictions across the Kivalliq region will ease starting Wednesday.

Nunavut's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson said in a news release Tuesday, that the change is being made as its been weeks since an active COVID-19 case has been detected in the area.

"It has been more than three weeks since a case of COVID-19 has been identified in Arviat. There hasn't been an active case in the community since March 20 and no COVID-19 cases have been identified in the rest of the region," Patterson said in a statement.

He says based on current circumstances, it is safe ease up on the public health measures In place in all the Kivalliq region communities.

"While some public health orders come into effect tomorrow, we ask community members to be patient as municipalities and organizations take the necessary steps to adjust and implement the new measures," he said.

The news comes just over a week after travel restrictions were eased for the area and Nunavut officials took a day trip to the community to thank Arviatmiut for their dedication to beating COVID-19.

Masks will remain mandatory in Arviat, and indoor private gatherings in the hamlet will stay at five people, plus household members.

Other changes to health measures in Arviat include:

  • Indoor gatherings for public community spaces, including arenas and places of worship, can have up to 50 people or 50 per cent of the facility's capacity, whichever is less.

  • Outdoor gatherings up to 50 people with physical distancing are allowed.

  • Solo workouts with masks are allowed anywhere fitness sessions are held.

  • Long-term care facilities, continuing care centres, boarding homes, and health centres may permit a maximum of two visitors from immediate family, per resident. Masks are mandatory for visitors and children aged two to four are encouraged to wear masks.

Starting April 12, schools in Arviat will move to stage 2 of the Nunavut's school reopening plan.

New public health measures for the remaining Kivalliq communities will also take effect on Wednesday, which will bring those communities in line with the rest of the territory.

The eased restrictions include:

  • Indoor private gatherings are increased to 15 plus household members; indoor gatherings for public community spaces, including places of worship, may allow 100 people or 75 per cent of the facility's capacity, whichever is less.

  • Public swimming pools, recreation centres, gyms, galleries, museums and libraries may open to a maximum occupancy of 25 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less. Group sessions are limited to 25 people.

  • Arenas may open to a maximum occupancy of 50 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less.

  • Buildings, all public playgrounds, municipal parks and territorial parks may open.

Nunavut residents are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine as clinics remain open across the territory. People can call their local health centre to make an appointment.