How many cases of COVID-19 are in Nunavut and what strategies are being used to prevent the spread of the disease? 

Posted on August 10, 2020 by Madalon Burnett

Summary

There are currently 0 cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut. The government of Nunavut has published several health orders to prevent transmission of the disease. 

I.   Case Counts In Nunavut

  • On July 29, there were 0 confirmed cases and 0 probable cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut (1)
  • On August 8, there were 0 total cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut (2).
  • Nunavut has been declared to be in a state of public health emergency until at least August 20 2020 (3)

II.   Strategies to Prevent Transmission

Travelling to Nunavut and Travel Ban

  • “Prior to boarding a plane into the territory, residents will undergo a mandatory 14-day isolation period in either Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton or Yellowknife” (4)
  • “The Government of Canada is directing that all travellers (with limited exceptions) must have a removable non-medical mask or face covering large enough to cover their mouth and nose during their travel through Canadian airports and in-flight.” (4)

Common Travel Areas

  • As of Monday, June 15, 2020, a Common Travel Area has been established between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. (4)
  • A second Common Travel Area was established between Nunavut and Churchill, Manitoba on July 13, 2020. (4)
    • Travel must originate from Nunavut to the NWT/Churchill or from the NWT/Churchill to Nunavut.
    • Travellers must not have been outside the Common Travel Areas for 2 weeks prior to their travel to NWT, Churchill or NU.
    • Travellers must remain in the Common Travel Area for the duration of their stay.

Critical Employees

  • Anyone returning from any location with symptoms cannot enter the territory and must contact the office of the Chief Public Health Officer after symptoms have resolved (4)
  • Anyone returning to Nunavut from other parts of Canada that is asymptomatic must contact the Chief Public Health Officer prior to booking their flight and commit for the first 14 days of their arrival to (5): 
    • Provide a daily update to their manager/supervisor on the status of their health and disclose the presence or absence of any signs or symptoms; 
    • Self-monitor daily for signs and symptoms of illness; 
    • Follow infection prevention and control protocols; including diligent hand hygiene; 
    • Practice social distancing of two meters, reduce close contact with colleagues, and avoid shared spaces where possible (i.e., facilitate virtual arrangements); 
    • o If a front-line health care provider, wear a mask at all time even if they are asymptomatic;  
    • Maintain appropriate physical distancing with others (at least 2 meters) when travelling to and from work and between shifts;  
    • Remain isolated at home on days when not required at their workplace;  
    • Self-isolate immediately if symptoms develop and contact the public health unit or health centre to receive further instructions. 
  • Anyone returning to Nunavut from another country must (5): 
    • Enter mandatory isolation at a GN designated isolation facility outside of the Territory for 14 days. The federal quarantine requirement can be satisfied at the GN designated isolation facility.
      • “If the employee develops symptoms before the end of the 14-day isolation period, they must get tested and remain in isolation until test results are returned. 
      •  o If the result is negative, the employee can then travel to the community where their work is located as soon as the 14-day isolation period ends, provided they no longer have symptoms; or 
      • If the result is positive, the employee cannot return to Nunavut until they are cleared by the CPHO, DCPHO or designated alternate (e.g. medical officer of health.”

Construction Workers

 

Social Distancing and Public Gathering

  • Rules regarding social distancing, opening of businesses, and social gathering can be found here (3)

Airlines

  • Operators must ask about prior to boarding. If any of the answers are yes, the passenger cannot board the aircraft (3).
    • fever exceeding 38˚ Celsius (100.4˚ Fahrenheit)
    • Coughing
    • breathing difficulties.
    • whether they have or suspect they have novel coronavirus COVID-19
    • whether they have been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to novel coronavirus COVID-19
    • whether they are the subject of a mandatory quarantine order as a result of recent travel or as a result of a provincial, territorial, or local public health order.

Questions? Comments? Does this need to be updated? Do you have valuable points to add ? Please email ask.reakt@ubc.ca.

References

  1. COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) | Government of Nunavut [Internet]. Gov.nu.ca. 2016 [cited 2020 Aug 6]. Available from: https://www.gov.nu.ca/health/information/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
  2. Public Health Agency of Canada. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update – Canada.ca [Internet]. Canada.ca. 2020 [cited 2020 Aug 6]. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
  3. Chief Public Health Officer Orders | Government of Nunavut [Internet]. Gov.nu.ca. 2016 [cited 2020 Aug 6]. Available from: https://www.gov.nu.ca/health/information/chief-public-health-officer-orders
  4. ‌Travel and Isolation | Government of Nunavut [Internet]. Gov.nu.ca. 2016 [cited 2020 Aug 6]. Available from: https://gov.nu.ca/health/information/travel-and-isolation
  5. PROTOCOL Critical Employees and Isolation Since March 24, 2020 travel through all points of entry into Nunavut is prohibited to all travellers except for Nunavut residents, travellers from the Northwest Territories, non-residents moving to Nunavut for employment, non-residents travelling to Nunavut for family reunification, critical workers, essential workers, and anyone with an urgent and substantial need to enter Nunavut [Internet]. [cited 2020 Aug 6]. Available from: https://gov.nu.ca/sites/default/files/protocol_-_isolation_requirements_and_critical_exemption_-_june_26_eng.pdf

Disclaimer

The above is intended to serve as a rapidly-created, accessible source of information curated by medical students and healthcare professionals. It is for educational purposes only and is not a complete reference resource. It is not professional medical advice, and is not a substitute for the discretion, judgment, and duties of healthcare professionals. You are solely responsible for evaluating the information above.