There are currently nine active cases of COVID-19 in Iqaluit with the announcement of one recovery on Monday morning.
All of the active cases at the Baffin Correctional Centre (BCC) have recovered with the last of them recovering “a couple of days ago” according to Nunavut’s chief public health officer (CPHO) Dr. Michael Patterson.
The Elders Home in Iqaluit remains closed.
Restrictions in Iqaluit are set to ease on Thursday, June 3. Indoor home gatherings can have up to five people plus household members, and outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed.
It is highly recommended that people keep their social circles small. Long-term care facilities, continuing care centres, boarding homes and health centres may allow a maximum of two visitors from their immediate family with mandatory masks.
Daycares and schools may reopen, with the latter moving to stage three of the Dept. of Education’s Opening Plan for Nunavut Schools.
Government offices and private businesses may also reopen with masks and physical distancing. Indoor gatherings for group counseling and support groups can re-open up to 25 people or 25 percent capacity, whichever is fewer.
Places of worship may open for in-person services with no singing up to 25 people or 25 percent capacity, whichever is fewer. Same for arenas which can have no more than 25 spectators.
All public playgrounds, municipal parks and territorial parks may open but their buildings will remain closed.
The reason to ease restrictions on Thursday is to catch up with testing from the weekend.
“We want to make sure things are stable from the weekend, we know over the weekends there’s a pattern of less swabs done and it’s not uncommon to see a bit of a spike on Monday, Tuesday. If that does happen it might reflect transmission in households that are already isolated,” said Patterson.
“If we start to see case counts rising again after we’ve eased measures then we either have to stay the same or go back.”
Travel in and out of Iqaluit is still restricted, masks will be remaining mandatory.
The Government of Nunavut (GN) has also scheduled vaccination clinics for people in Nunavut with ages 12 to 17 prioritized, those are to start mid-June.
First dose clinics for the Pfizer vaccine are as follows:
Arctic Bay: June 17 to 18, Health Centre, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (867-439-8873)
Arviat: Every Saturday starting June 19, Health Centre, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (867-857-3100)
Baker Lake: June 24 to 26, Community Arena, noon to 9 p.m. (867-793-2816)
Cambridge Bay: June 28 to 30, Health Centre, 10 a.m. (867-983-4500)
Chesterfield Inlet: Starting June 21, Health Centre, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (867-898-9968)
Clyde River: June 15 to 17, Quluaq School, noon to 9 p.m. (867-924-6377)
Coral Harbour: June 22, Health Centre, noon to 9 p.m. (867-925-9916)
Grise Fiord: Starting June 17, Health Centre, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. 5 p.m., (867-980-9923)
Gjoa Haven: June 21 to 22, Health Centre, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (867-360-7741)
Iglooik: June 16 to 18, Community Hall, noon to 9 p.m. (867-934-2100)
Iqaluit: June 16 to 19, Curling Rink (TBD), 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Walk-in)
Kimmirut: Starting June 18, Health Centre, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (867-939-2217)
Kinngait: June 18 to 19 and 21, Small Community Hall (sewing centre), noon to 9 p.m. (867-897-8820)
Kugaaruk: June 18 to 19, Health Centre, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (867-561-5111)
Kugluktuk: July 5 to 6, Health Centre, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (867-982-4531)
Naujaat: June 16 to 17, Health Centre, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. (867-462-9916)
Pangnirtung: June 15 to 17, Community Hall/Hamlet Building, noon to 9 p.m. (867-473-8977)
Pond Inlet: June 15 to 17, Nasiivvik High School (TBD), noon to 9 p.m. (867-899-7500)
Rankin Inlet: June 22, Community Recreation Centre, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (867-645-8070)
Resolute Bay: Starting June 17, Health Centre, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (867-252-3844)
Qikiqtarjuaq: Starting June 15, Health Centre, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (867-927-8916)
Sanikiluaq: June 19, new Health Centre, noon to 9 p.m. (867-266-8965)
Sanirajak: Starting June 16, Health Centre, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (867-928-8827)
Taloyoak: June 24 to 25, Health Centre, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (867-561-5111)
Whale Cove: June 19, Health Centre, noon to 9 p.m. (867-896-9916)
There are reasons to be optimistic according to the CPHO, however he still urges people to follow public health measures.
“Case counts are dropping, there’s been very limited spread into new households over the last seven to ten days, and as vaccination rates climb and as people have restricted their activity the spread is quite low,” said Patterson.