Nunavut Declares An End To Its COVID-19 Outbreak

Nunavut goes 28 days without a COVID-19 case

By Dami Igbinyemi

On January 25th, 2020, Canada reported its first case of COVID-19 from a 56-year-old patient “Patient Zero” returning from China. Out of all the Canadian provinces and territories, Nunavut remained the only one in Canada without a confirmed case of COVID-19 for eight months.

Nunavut is believed to have had its first case in April from a northern community on the upper tip of Baffin Island, but further testing proved to be a false positive. Although they had no confirmed cases of Covid-19, the territory placed restrictions that mirrored other harder-hit provinces like Quebec and Ontario. 

Nunavut remained COVID free up until November 6, 2020, when the first case was confirmed in Sanikiluaq, a Hudson Bay community of about 850 people. Like a wildfire, it spread quickly to other communities. A lockdown was placed on November 18 as the numbers began to grow. The first doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived in Nunavut on December 30 and were administered on January 6th. At that time there were 266 total confirmed cases.

In May 2021, the Mary River Mine announced an outbreak and shut everything down, sending employees home. Hundreds of cases in Ontario and Alberta can be linked to Mine employees. After two months, the Mary River Mine Covid-19 outbreak was declared over on July 12th.

After 28 days in Iqaluit without a new case of Covid-19 as of Monday, the city has officially declared the outbreak over. Today Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer released a statement declaring the outbreak in the city over.

As of yesterday, Nunavut has

– 657 total confirmed cases:

– 0 total active cases:

– 4 total deaths:

– 22,495 people vaccinated with at least one dose and:

– 18,816 people were vaccinated with two doses.

“Current public health measures, including mandatory masks remain in place. For the next 2 weeks, we will continue to monitor the situation and if there are no additional cases of the virus identified, we will be able to further ease restrictions. COVID-19 testing will be available at Cadet Hall Monday to Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. until Friday, July 23. The mobile testing van is also available Monday to Saturday around Iqaluit and will be available until July 31. Vaccination clinics are ongoing across the territory. I encourage everyone to continue following public health restrictions, wash your hands frequently, stay home when sick and call the COVID-19 hotline at 1888-975-8601 if you have symptoms.” – Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer. 

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