COVID-19 GN Update - December 14, 2020
Good morning. Today, Nunavut has nine new cases of COVID-19, all in Arviat.
Nunavut has a total of 49 active cases of COVID-19. The total number of persons followed to date is 5377. There are 642 persons currently being followed. 207 Nunavummiut have now recovered from the virus.
As we plan for the roll-out of the Moderna vaccine in the territory, I hope all Nunavummiut will take the time to learn about what this means and why it is safe and effective. I know there is some misinformation and fear surrounding this vaccine.
This will be our best defense against COVID-19 and the testing on this has been extensive and thorough.
I can assure you, my family and I will all get the vaccine when it is our turn. This vaccine could be the light at the end of the tunnel. Again, we will ask you to do your part in getting the vaccine to help Nunavut and help us fight COVID-19.
Keep washing your hands and wearing masks, and keep gatherings and your bubble limited when you can. Stay home if you feel unwell. Please stay well and healthy.
Chief Public Health Officer Update:
Good morning. Last week we announced that Nunavut will be receiving the Moderna vaccine in the first quarter of 2021. The vaccine is currently in the process of receiving approval from Health Canada. The territory will receive enough doses to vaccinate 75% of its adult population.
As we prepare for its arrival, I want to take this opportunity to talk a bit about the vaccine’s development, the timeline for its arrival in the territory and our preparations to ensure that once in territory, it is administered safely and timely, to all Nunavummiut.
People have asked me if the vaccine is safe. It is. I say that because of the rigorous work that has gone into its development. mRNA vaccines in general have been under development for more than twenty years. The clinical trials for Moderna alone had 30,000 participants from a broad range of population types.
Canada also has a very thorough vaccine approval process that will ensure the vaccine’s safety.
Usually, we wait months in-between development steps for more funding or resources, which slows down the process. The type of global cooperation we have witnessed, the massive efforts deployed to bring in the financial, human and technological resources needed, allowed many steps of the vaccine production to happen at the same time, while ensuring its safety, every step of the way.
Our planning for the vaccine’s distribution is underway and work has already been done to prepare for the vaccine’s arrival. Supplies such as syringes, needles, alcohol swabs and other items required for administering the vaccine are already in territory.
Two, medical-grade freezers supplied by the Public Health Agency of Canada arrived over the weekend and will help increase our storage capacity in both Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet.
While we know that in the first three months of 2021 we will be receiving enough to vaccinate 75% of the adult population, we do not know how the deliveries will be scheduled. With that in mind we are developing plans based on a variety of scenarios. For example, if we receive a small number of doses at the beginning of January and we don't know how many doses will come in February or when, we will be taking a very focused approach, by first vaccinating those at highest risk of complications from COVID-19.
In a situation where we have limited supply at first, elders' centres, long-term care residents, and the staff working with them, will receive the vaccine first. On the other hand, if we receive enough vaccines in January, we might look at mass immunization clinics, with the aim of vaccinating as many adults as possible.
Regardless of the strategy, by the end of March we will have received enough vaccines for 75% of adults in Nunavut. The key for us, like Nunavut's Path, is to be flexible and plan for a variety of circumstances.
Throughout this process, it is important to remember that Nunavut’s realities require a tailored approach and extensive experience with delivering and administering vaccines in a Northern context.
Our health staff has this experience and understands the challenges we face. This is not the first time we had to work quickly and safely in unique conditions. Every year, vaccination campaigns across the territory come with their number of logistical challenges. During the H1N1 pandemic, our teams were capable to plan and deploy timely vaccination campaigns across the territory. This vaccination campaign is no exception.
Finally, I would like to ask Nunavummiut to be patient and most importantly to use trusted sources of information when learning about the vaccine and any other new public health initiative. I understand that some of this information is new, but not so long ago so was COVID-19, and yet collectively, by using science-based facts and information from trusted sources, we have come a long way in understanding the virus and taking the necessary precautions to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.
As part of the Government of Nunavut’s (GN) effort to protect Nunavummiut against the risk of COVID-19, GN Departments are implementing the following:
Department of Health Services
For all the latest information and resources about COVID-19 in Nunavut, go to: https://www.gov.nu.ca/health/information/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
For the latest information on current public health restrictions, go to: https://www.gov.nu.ca/health/information/nunavuts-path
COVID-19 case status: Dec. 14
|Total confirmed cases||Total active cases||Total recovered cases||Total persons followed||Current persons followed|
COVID-19 community case statistics: Dec. 14
|Community||Confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday||Confirmed COVID-19 cases today||Change in case count +/- from previous day||Recovered Cases||Total active cases|
Testing stats to date per community: Dec. 14
|Community||Tests Positive||Tests Negative|
Isolation population: 205
|Total (All Health Isolation Locations)|
|Traveler Type||Guests in Isolation as of Dec. 13|
Traveller repatriation summary:
|Departure Date||# of Travellers from Health Isolation Sites|
Critical Worker Requests:
As of Dec.11 there were 10043 requests, 4719 of which were critical worker requests.
|Approved (includes critical and non-critical)||6472||67.1%|
|Common Travel Area||2784||27.7%|
Department of Community and Government services
Requests to enter the territory for construction related projects or to travel within the territory for construction related projects can be emailed to CPHOconstructionrequests@gov.nu.ca.
Construction workers who completed isolation to date: 2,248.
Department of Education Services
Diploma exams for Nunavut students will be made optional for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.
To ensure the best possible choice is made for each student, the decision to opt-in should be made together with the student’s parents/guardians. All schools were sent the January 2021 opt-in form on Friday, December 11, 2020.
Students that would like to write their January 2021 diploma exam will need to complete the opt-in form and give it to their principal as soon as possible. Students that choose to write their exam and are not satisfied with their exam mark are not able to apply for an exemption after the exam date.
Students that do not wish to write their diploma exam will be granted an automatic exemption, with their course mark being made worth 100% of their final mark.
Students wishing to pursue post-secondary education are encouraged to review the entry requirements for the program they are applying to, as not writing the exam may have an impact on acceptance status.
Nunavummiut’s health is our shared responsibility! Remember: wash your hands and surfaces, practice social distancing, listen to the advice of health officials, and stay home if you’re sick.