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Passenger on inbound flight to Iqaluit tested positive for Covid; Dept. of Health plans to temporarily detain all passengers

Nunavut's Department of Health is moving quickly in an effort to manage a flight from Ottawa that was due to land in Iqaluit at 12:30 p.m with a passenger onboard who tested positive for Covid-19.

The Department of Health is attending to a passenger on a Canadian North flight from Ottawa. The individual tested positive for Covid-19 and is being retested at Qikiqtani General Hospital. All other passengers are being asked to stay on site at the airport.
NNSL file photo

All other passengers on the Canadian North plane are being asked to remain at a designated location at the airport until secondary testing is done to ensure there wasn't a false positive from the infected individual's first test. This person, who was on expedited medical travel, is said to be asymptomatic.

The individual in question was initially tested on Jan. 18 but the positive result only came back Wednesday morning, after the flight was already airborne, according to the Department of Health.

The medical traveller will be taken to Qikiqtani General Hospital, isolated, and retested. The results from that test are expected to be known later this afternoon.

"I would like to remind Nunavummiut that the risk of transmission in an aircraft is very low," said Nunavut's chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson.