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Nunavut's HTOs and daycares receive financial aid

“We don’t want any Nunavummiut to be unduly financially burdened by all the effects of this COVID-19,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq, during a press conference in Iqaluit. Rajnesh Sharma/NNSL photo

Hunters and Trappers Organizations (HTO) as well as daycares within Nunavut will be allocated money to help community members.

Today, during the fourth press conference this week, Premier Joe Savikataaq announced $25,000 will be given to each HTO to buy country food. The idea is to distribute the food within the community to help with food insecurity issues.

$531,000 has been allocated to licensed daycares.

“We will be paying what the parents normally paid as daycare fees so that daycare workers, who are not working anymore continue to get paid,” said Savikataaq.

There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the territory. 70 tests for COVID-19 have been performed. Twenty-four people, who were in self-isolation, have been cleared.

Currently, there is no need for mass testing or screening for asymptomatic people, said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson, adding, if circumstances change such testing will be reconsidered.

To reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, incoming travelers are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

“We do recognize that the isolation for two weeks on arrival in Nunavut is not practical and in some cases dangerous for vital services,” said Patterson.

“We are working with our partners, who employ those individuals to identify all vital services and ensure that those individuals can deliver the service needed and do it in a way that is efficient and minimizes the risk to Nunavummiut,” explained Patterson.

Patterson also revealed that as of March 19 most scheduled medical travel for the south has been cancelled. If there is an "urgent medical need" to go south during the pandemic, then the appropriate arrangements will be made.

Health Minister George Hickes reiterated the premier’s concerns about maintaining social distancing, adding it is important to avoid entering the airport.

“I strongly recommend that if people are picking up passengers at any airport, unless they have a physical handicap or mobility issues, to wait outside for any passengers departing their planes,” said Hickes.