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Public health restrictions easing in Iqaluit on Friday

Wastewater testing being introduced in Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit
As of July 16, public health measures in Iqaluit will ease further. Trevor Wright/NNSL photo

Restrictions will once again ease in Iqaluit, chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson announced Wednesday, as there continues to be no new cases of COVID-19 in the capital.

As of Friday, the new public health measures are as follows:

-Outdoor gatherings increase to a maximum of 100 people

-Indoor gatherings can increase to 15 people, plus household members

-Indoor public gatherings, including places of worship, may now hold up to 50 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is fewer

-Restaurants and licensed facilities may open to 50 per cent capacity; activities such as darts, pool, live bands and karaoke are still not permitted

-Group counselling is permitted for up to 20 people

-Fitness classes can have up to 10 people

-Museums, galleries and libraries may allow group tours

-The (Astro) theatre may open at 50 per cent capacity

-Indoor team sports are now permitted

“As there are no cases of COVID-19 in Iqaluit, it is safe to further ease public health measures,” said Patterson. “It’s important to remember that Iqaluit’s outbreak is not yet over, and all Nunavummiut need to continue to be vigilant. Masks in all communities continue to be mandatory to mitigate potential risk.

In addition, wastewater testing is now being introduced as part of COVID-19 surveillance testing in Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet.

This is being conducted as a pilot project over the next three months. The locations were chosen because the method of sewage disposal in these communities make testing feasible.

Anyone who has reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 is advised to call the COVID-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST, or notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days. Please do not go to the health centre in person.