There is one new case of COVID-19 in Nunavut today, bringing the number of active cases in the territorial capital of Iqaluit to two.
The new case was diagnosed in the emergency room at the Qikiqtani General Hospital and Dept. of Health staff are still figuring out what the risks are to the public at this time and contact tracing is ongoing and was started yesterday afternoon.
Currently there are no plans to change public health measures as they are.
“There are a number of things we have to sort out, at this point there’s no reason to think we have to pause or change the public health orders as they are right now,” said Nunavut Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson.
The person was admitted to the hospital and right now it’s “unclear if their symptoms are from the COVID or if their symptoms are from another medical problem.”
Patterson said they will be able to provide more information surrounding this new case at the next update on Monday, June 14.
“There’s always going to be a chance there’s going to be some diagnosed cases whenever we ease measures. So this isn’t surprising to us at this point, and we may be able to establish links and work out from there,” explained Patterson.
Announced June 7, exemptions for fully vaccinated individuals travelling in and out of the territory will take effect June 14, however, parents who have unvaccinated children still have to isolate in southern hubs.
“At least for the next four weeks we’ll be taking the more cautious approach which is to have exemptions only for people who are fully vaccinated.” Patterson said, “That four weeks gives us time to offer vaccination to youth, it gives adults who have not been vaccinated the opportunity to get vaccinated. All of those steps will not only protect the individuals who receive (their shots) but it’ll reduce the risk to the community as a whole.”
As of Tuesday the amount of people in isolation was 60, and as of today there have been 15,574 people in Nunavut, including rotational workers, who have been fully vaccinated and and further 2,218 people who have gotten their first dose.
Patterson said a re-opening plan is in the works and will be available “in the next little while. I know there’s work being done on that, but I don’t think we’ll be able to give a firm date on when it will be available to release.”
Those who are currently in isolation, in one of the hubs and fully vaccinated will be able to apply for an exemption by June 14 and be able spend time outside of the hubs prior to their flight back to Nunavut.
While he didn’t have an exact number of those who have already applied for exemptions, Patterson said “staff are receiving a lot of inquiries and a lot of requests,” for exemption from the hubs.