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'Don't let this lockdown be for nothing:' Nunavut premier

This Wednesday Nunavut went into its second lockdown as the Government of Nunavut (GN) announced it would earlier this week.

Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq speaks about the Nov. 18 Nunavut lockdown at the Legislature. Trevor Wright/NNSL photo

Masks are mandatory in any community with Covid-19 and are strongly recommended elsewhere in Nunavut.

Outdoor gatherings are restricted to five people and physical distancing must be maintained in public spaces.

Indoor gatherings are restricted to household members plus five people, no visiting to other homes is strongly recommended.

“Businesses have the right and authority to require masks for patrons and staff,” said Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer (CPHO).

Non-essential work must stop, if anyone closed down in March during the first lockdown, they should be closed again, he added.

“Today, Nunavut enters its two-week lockdown, this is it folks, it’s time to take a stand and fight against Covid-19,” said Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq. “We need you all to make sacrifices now to protect our communities.”

In addition another 10 new cases have come up in Arviat and Rankin Inlet bringing the territorial total to 70 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

“Eight new cases have been confirmed in Arviat, bringing the total to 54 and there were two new cases in Rankin Inlet, bringing the community total there to six,” Patterson said.

The CPHO also highlighted the importance of following the public health measures which came into effect.

“These orders are designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in communities with active cases and to protect the other communities from the virus.” 

“It will take at least two weeks from today to know if our public health measures and isolation protocols have been effective, how effective we are in containing the current outbreak is in large part dependent on the cooperation of all Nunavummiut.”

The premier said the lockdown will be longer if public health measures are not followed.

“If we don’t stick to these measures, it can be longer and possibly much longer,” Savikataaq said.

“Elders can’t have visitors, kids can’t be at school, frontline workers are working around the clock, Nunavummiut don’t let this lockdown be for nothing.”