COVID-19 GN Update - December 18, 2020

COVID-19 GN Update - December 18, 2020

Premier’s update:

Good morning. Today, Nunavut has no new cases of COVID-19.

Nunavut has a total of 34 active cases of COVID-19. The total number of persons followed to date is 5478. There are 631 persons currently being followed. 225 Nunavummiut have now recovered from the virus.

This will be our last televised update of the year. Moving forward, all weekend case numbers for Arviat will be reported on Mondays, to give our hardworking epidemiology team a much-needed break!  As always, if there are any new cases outside of Arviat, we will announce all details right away.

As we’re now fully in the holiday season, I need to remind everyone again to please keep social gatherings small.

If you are celebrating with people outside your household, try to stick with the same social circle. Please don’t bounce around from one gathering to an entirely new group of people – this is how we let COVID in.

A reminder there are limits to the number of people who may gathering inside a home, plus the residents in the household. Arviat is to have no visitors, Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove can have 10 visitors plus those who live in the home, and all other communities are 15 visitors plus those who live in the house. This should not be seen as an excuse to hold gatherings or have parties. Please continue to do your part and be cautious.

For all Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove, the number of people allowed in arenas and community centres is 25 people or 50 per cent capacity – whichever is smaller. For all other communities except Arviat, the number of people allowed in arenas and community centres is 50 people or 50 per cent capacity – whichever is smaller. Again, this is not an excuse to hold Christmas games or community events. Unless you have permission and it is deemed safe by Dr. Patterson, do not take chances. As Arviat still has active cases, they are still in lockdown and they cannot access these facilities.

Your actions this holiday impacts everyone around you. I know this will be a hard change from previous years, but please continue to practice community care.

In other news, I asked Dr. Patterson to look into making a special someone an exempt critical worker for next week. I’m very, very excited to let all young Nunavummiut know that Santa Claus has been approved to come into the territory without having to self-isolate for 14 days. This will allow him to continue making toys with the elves and preparing for a very busy Christmas Eve. So, please don’t worry, Santa Claus is indeed coming to towns in Nunavut this year.


Thank you again to all Nunavummiut for your patience, compassion and kindness over the last year. It’s been rough one, but one I appreciate for all the lessons. I hope you do too. Please stay happy and healthy this Christmas and enjoy safely.


Chief Public Health Officer Update:

Good morning,

Today, I am happy to announce that the outbreak in Sanikiluaq is officially over. This is good news, and both the community, and the health staff deserve recognition for getting to this point.

That being said, I urge everyone in Sanikiluaq and across the territory to continue to be diligent about following the public health measures. This will be especially important as we head into the Christmas season when gatherings become more common.

After assessing the outbreak situation in Arviat and considering that there are still people in isolation in Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove, I have decided that it is not yet time to loosen the Public Health restrictions. Current measures in all communities will remain the same until further notice.

As we move into the holidays, we are eagerly awaiting the first shipment of vaccine to come to Nunavut. It is expected that Canada will approve the Moderna vaccine for use in the coming days and the federal government has indicated we should expect to receive doses soon after that.

We don’t yet know when shipments of vaccine will come or how much of the vaccine those shipments will include, however, we have several rollout scenarios planned, and they will be deployed depending on when and how much vaccine we receive.

I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that the vaccine is safe. It has undergone all necessary trials, has been tested on 30,000 people and will provide Nunavummiut who take it protection from the virus.

Thank you.


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:

Government-wide Holiday Closures

All Government of Nunavut (GN) offices will be closed from December 24 to January 3 with the exception of designated facilities that must stay open.

GN services will be provided according to the public health measures in place and could change suddenly.


  • Qikiqtani General Hospital will remain open with full services except outpatient rehabilitation.
  • Home Care routine services will be closed on the statutory holidays, but will be available for emergencies.
    • Please note some home care services in the Kivalliq are suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Outpatient primary care clinics will be closed on December 25, 28 and January 1, but open all other days.
  • Community health centres will be open, however, urgent and emergency services are available for care provision through on-call services with the following core services maintained:
    • Emergent/urgent care, sick clinic, and booked appointments for at-risk clients will continue to be provided. 
    • Well-child and prenatal clinics will function at full capacity.
    • Routine chronic disease and well-woman/well-man clinics will be suspended during this period to allow for increased acute care services.
  • Mental health nurses and consultants will work at full capacity.
  • Public Health Nurses, regional communicable disease coordinators, TB coordinators, midwives, community health representatives and support staff will work at full capacity.
  • Laboratory and diagnostic imaging services remain open and operational. Collection of specimens and diagnostic images will be accessible 24/7 for all emergency and routine issues.  COVID-19 swabs will remain an urgent priority and all transport measures will remain in place over the closures. Routine collection of lab work will be suspended during this period.
    • medical travel services will continue as normal.
    • Cambridge Bay mental health facility:
      • Mental Health Nurses and consultants will function at full capacity
      • Mental Health and Addictions paraprofessional staff will be off but available to be called in at the discretion of the mental health nurse.
    • Akausisarvik Mental Health Facility in Iqaluit will function at full capacity.
    • Boarding homes will operate as normal:
      • Churchill – Iglualuk Boarding Home.
      • Edmonton – Larga House.
      • Iqaluit – Tammattaavik Boarding Home.
      • Ottawa – Larga House Baffin.
      • Winnipeg – Kivalliq Inuit Centre.
      • Yellowknife – Larga Kitikmeot Boarding Home.


Family Services

  • Family Services Offices will have on call services available.
  • Income Assistance Offices will have on call services available.
  • Career Development Division will have on call services available.


Community and Government Services

  • The following Community and Government Services divisions are available on an emergency basis:
    • Safety Services Division (Office of the Fire Marshal, chief electrical inspector, chief building inspector and chief boiler inspector).
    • Facilities Management Division.
    • Emergency Management Office.


Economic Development and Transportation

  • Nunavut airports will be open.



  • Financial Assistance for Nunavut Students (FANS) office is on call for travel emergencies at 867-857-6950.



  • The Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission (NULC) will continue to sell low alcohol content products (beer, wine, cider, coolers) through the Iqaluit NULC store during the holiday closures, with reduced hours.
  • The NULC store will be closed from December 24 to the 28, reopening on the 29 and 30 from 1 to 6 p.m. and December 31 from 12 to 4 p.m. The store will be closed on January 1, 2021 and will resume normal business hours on January 2, 2021.
  • Liquor import permits and community orders will not be processed from December 24 to January 3. Customers who are planning to import liquor during this time are encouraged to purchase a permit by December 23 from one of the following locations:

    Iqaluit NULC store
    In person:

            Monday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. ET.
            Tuesday to Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. ET.
     By phone call 867-975-6869.
     Rankin Inlet
     By phone call 867-645-8575 or 855-844-5488 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. CT.
     Cambridge Bay
     By phone call 867-983-4048 on Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. MT.
     By phone call 867-982-6509 or email
     Please note that the Kugluktuk office will only process permits from within the community.


Human Resources

  • The Employee and Family Assistance Program will be available over the holiday season. Employees and their families can call the toll-free number 1-800-663-1142 for personal counselling in all of Nunavut’s official languages or visit  
  • During the GN holiday closure, will be monitored for emergencies only.



  • Legal Registries will remain open.
  • All correctional facilities will remain open:
    • Baffin Correctional Centre and Makigiarvik Correction Centre.
    • Rankin Inlet Healing Facility.
    • Kugluktuk Ilavut Centre.
    • Uttaqivik Community Residential Centre.
    • Nunavut Women’s Correctional Centre.
    • Isumaqsunngittukkuvik Youth Facility.
  • Community Justice Offices will be closed but Emergency Protection Orders are available by calling 1-844-534-1038 or by calling the local RCMP detachment for assistance.
  • The Office of Public Guardian and Trustee will be closed but can be reached at 867-222-1805 for emergencies only.
  • Community Corrections Officers will be available on call. The on-call schedule is as follows:
December 23 to 26 867-222-5271
December 26 to 29 867-222-0390
December 29 to 31 867-975-1616
December 31 to January 2 867-222-5271
January 2 to 4 867-899-1380



  • Emergency spill response is available 24 hours a day at 867-920-8130.
  • Emergency wildlife response is available 24 hours a day at 867-222-0167.


Qulliq Energy Corporation

  • Qulliq Energy Corporation offices will be open during the GN’s holiday closure days (December 24, 29, 30 and 31), but closed during the statutory holidays (December 25, 28 and January 1).

Nunavut Housing Corporation

  • Emergency contact number for Iqaluit staff housing: 867-877-4118. Do not send text messages.


Nunavut Arctic College:

The following NAC buildings will remain open until December 24:

  • Kivalliq Hall Offices – Rankin Inlet*
  • *Single unit student residences in Kivalliq Hall will close on December 18.
  • Sanatuliqsarvik, Trades Training Centre – Rankin Inlet.
  • Nunatta Main Campus – Iqalui.t
  • Kitikmeot Campus – Cambridge Bay.

The following NAC Buildings will remain open (for students) during the closure:

  • Family Housing Units - Cambridge Bay.
  • Family Housing Units - Rankin Inlet.
  • Family Housing Units and Student Residence (Old Nova Building) – Iqaluit.

More contact information can be found at:   

All GN offices will reopen on Monday, January 4, 2020 for regular business. Happy Holidays!


Department of Health Services

For all the latest information and resources about COVID-19 in Nunavut, go to:

For the latest information on current public health restrictions, go to:


COVID-19 case status: Dec. 18

Total confirmed cases Total active cases Total recovered cases Total persons followed Current persons followed
259 34 225 5478 631

COVID-19 community case statistics: Dec. 18

Community Confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday Confirmed COVID-19 cases today Change in case count +/- from previous day Recovered Cases Total active cases
Arviat 217 217 0 183 34
Whale Cove 21 21 0 21 0
Rankin Inlet 19 19 0 19 0
Sanikiluaq 2 2 0 2 0
TOTAL  259 259 0 225 34

Testing stats to date per community: Dec. 18

Community Tests Positive Tests Negative
Arviat 217 992
Whale Cove 21 175
Rankin Inlet 19 277
Sanikiluaq 2 201
TOTAL  259 1645

Isolation population: 

Total (All Health Isolation Locations)  
Traveler Type Guests in Isolation as of Dec. 17
Medical 282
Public  136
emti 8
Total 426

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date # of Travellers from Health Isolation Sites
18-Dec 31
19-Dec 8
20-Dec 14
21-Dec 86
22-Dec 34
Total 173

Critical Worker Requests:

As of Dec.17 there were 10214 requests, 4808 of which were critical worker requests.

Request Status # %
Approved (includes critical and non-critical) 6839 67.0%
Denied 286 2.8%
Pending 224 2.2%
Common Travel Area 2865 28%
Total 10214 100%


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.