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Covid restrictions to be eased in Arviat as of Wednesday

0402Pooka Kolit Pooka Kolit ArviatJanuary 19, 2019.
By the time the sun rises in Arviat tomorrow, Covid public health restrictions will be eased. photo courtesy of Pooka Kolit

Businesses and workplaces will be able to reopen in Arviat as of Wednesday, chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson announced Tuesday.

Daycares can also reopen, but with enhanced cleaning, and schools will accommodate students at stage three, which involves being open part-time and rotations of in-class learning and home schooling.

Outdoor gatherings will be allowed up to 25 people. Indoor gatherings in homes will be restricted to five people, plus those living in the home. However, it's recommended that Arviammiut create bubbles of two households.

Masks will remain mandatory for everyone when they are outside of their homes.

Anyone who has Covid-19 or has been identified as a high-risk contact is still required to isolate.

Travel in and out of Arviat will continue to be restricted.

The community has been under lockdown for more than 100 days and under a state of emergency for two weeks as a couple of outbreaks of the virus have occurred.

"A number of important factors informed this decision. We have identified links within this outbreak in Arviat, staff are able to do contact tracing in an appropriate timeframe and there is no evidence of community (or uncontrolled) transmission," Patterson explained. "Additionally, the vaccine has been made available to all adult residents of Nunavut, making the impact of Covid-19 much less than it was before. From the onset of this pandemic, we said the vaccine would play an important part in Nunavut’s Path.

"It is time to begin easing some measures within Arviat, but this works best if everyone
continues to follow the public health measures and cooperates with public health staff. If
you have not yet been vaccinated, please make an appointment. If we work together.
we can bring the Covid-19 case count to zero."