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Social distancing is the 'new normal,' says Nunavut's premier

Correction: This version of the story has been updated to reflect that the 206 travel requests include 161 critical workers. The previous version of the story, due to inaccurate information provided by the Department of Health, contained an error.

Premier Joe Savikataaq took the opportunity to explain the concepts of self-monitoring, self-isolation and social distancing at a March 26 press conference.

Self-monitoring is paying attention to your health and calling your local health centre if you are noticing any symptoms like: coughing, fever or difficulty breathing, explained the Premier.

“Social distancing is our best defense against COVID-19,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq. Rajnesh Sharma/NNSL photo

Anyone, who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can call 1-888-975-8601 between 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. or contact the local health centre.

Self-isolation means staying at home, away from others, for 14 days, said Savikataaq.

All those who have entered the territory since March 15 are required to self-isolate for two weeks.

Social distancing refers to staying two meters or six feet between yourself and another individual, said Savikataaq, adding it is now the “new normal.” Nunavummiut are encouraged to practice social distancing at all times.

Social distancing has been advised by the government as a way of limiting the spread of COVID-19.

“Social distancing is our best defense against COVID-19,” said Savikataaq.

Other Updates

As of today, Nunavut still holds at zero cases of COVID-19.

206 travel requests including 161 critical workers have filled out applications for approval by health staff to enter the territory.

Since March 25 all Nunavut residents and critical workers need that approval to enter.

All residents of Nunavut must also undergo a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period in Yellowknife, Edmonton, Winnipeg or Ottawa. Those who want to return home need to make travel arrangements by emailing

Some Nunavummiut have already started checking into hotels down south, revealed Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson. Starting tomorrow, medical staff will begin checking in on these individuals.

Patterson assured the staff are working “extremely hard” to make arrangements for Nunavummiut who want to return to the territory.

“Although most Nunavummiut has been understanding and polite, there have been some that have been downright abusive to those staff and that’s not acceptable,” said Patterson.

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