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Outbreak in Sanikiluaq over; GN plans for roll-out of vaccine

The Covid-19 outbreak in Sanikiluaq is declared officially over today, Dec. 18, according to the territory’s top doctor.

On Friday Nunavut's Chief Public Health Officer announced that the Covid-19 outbreak in Sanikiluaq is over. NNSL file photo.

In a Government of Nunavut (GN) update on Friday the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) for Nunavut, Dr. Michael Patterson, confirmed it has been 28 days since the last recovery in the only community on the Belcher Islands.

“The community and the health staff deserve recognition for getting to this point. With that said, I urge everyone in Sanikiluaq and across the territory to continue to be diligent in following the public health measures.”

225 Nunavummiut have now thus far recovered from Covid-19 with Nunavut’s remaining active cases relegated to Arviat. 

Following an evaluation of the other communities still facing outbreaks, or with residents in isolation, the current public health measures will be upheld in Rankin Inlet, Whale Cove and Arviat.

“We have decided it is not yet time to loosen the public health measures there,” said Patterson. “Current measures in all communities will remain the same until further notice.”

Vaccine availability

The GN has a number of roll-out plans for the Moderna vaccine and it all depends on how many doses Nunavut will be receiving, with people in higher-risk age groups such as Elders getting priority for the vaccine.

“As we move into the holidays, we eagerly await the first vaccine to come into Nunavut, it is expected Canada will approve the Moderna vaccine for use in the coming days and the Federal Government has indicated we should expect to receive doses soon after that.”

There is no date yet as to when the vaccines will be coming in.

He adds that the vaccine has undergone testing and won’t be dangerous for people.

“The vaccine is safe, it has undergone all necessary trials, it has been tested on 30,000 people and will provide Nunavummiut protection from the virus.”