As of May 14 the Government of Nunavut (GN) has introduced a free Nunavut-wide food hamper support program to assist people who are completing mandatory isolation. There are currently 196 people still isolating in the capital.
These provide two weeks worth of food and essential items including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, non-perishable foods, bread and if available country food.
There are also modified hampers to accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions.
“This program started on May 14 in Iqaluit and as of yesterday (May 20) 116 hampers have been delivered,” said Savikataaq.
The program is offered to people in isolation whenever Department of Health staff do their daily check-ins between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. The department advises not to call the COVID hotline, this service will be offered during the check-ins.
There is one new case of COVID-19 announced in Nunavut today, as well as 11 recoveries, marking another drop in cases.
“We’re about a month and a half into the lockdown in Iqaluit, and through your hard work Iqalummiut, (it’s) starting to pay off, and the proof in the numbers this morning show that,” said Health Minster Lorne Kusugak.
“I encourage to keep doing what you are being asked to do in terms of keeping your distance, masking up and washing your hands. Those numbers could change very quickly if we give it an opportunity.”
There are currently 44 active cases in Iqaluit and one in Kinngait and 197 recoveries since this outbreak started in April.
So far, 13,906 Nunavummiut have received both doses of the Moderna vaccine and are now fully vaccinated, with another 3,012 having received their first jab.
With cases trending downward, the Department of Health is confident enough to ease restrictions in most Qikiqtani communities.
“The current situation shows that the public health measures in the city, travel restrictions to leave the city and isolation for those who have left have been effective in preventing the spread of this virus to other communities,” said Dr. Micheal Patterson, chief public health officer for Nunavut.
Restrictions in Qikiqtani communities outside of Iqaluit and Kinngait will be eased to the lockdown measures seen in Rankin Inlet, effective on Monday, May 24.
Effective May 25 Qikiqtani schools outside of Kinngait and Iqaluit will be moving to stage two of the Department of Education’s action plan. Schools in Iqaluit will remain closed and schools in Kinngait will be moving to stage three, which has limited classroom learning.
As the one active case in Kinngait has been isolated to one home, the risk of spread is lower than that of Iqaluit which currently is still experiencing community transmission.
Follow-up tests among the staff at the Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre, where one positive case was earlier in the week have all come back negative.
With the weather in Iqaluit warming up, it is almost time for food trucks to be coming out. Patterson clarified they count as takeout-only and they can open up this summer with no problems.
“There’s no sit-down dining associated with them where different households would mingle, so they’re considered the same as takeout and can open.”