COVID-19 Daily Update - March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

GN-wide update

  • As of today, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in the territory.
  • The public health communicable disease team is following approximately 50-60 persons under investigation. Approximately 10-15 previous people, previously under investigation have been cleared and no longer require isolation.
  • Anyone who travelled into Nunavut on or since Sunday, March 15 need to self-isolate for 14 days and contact their health centre if they develop symptoms.
  • The Government of Nunavut has begun the transition to work-from-home for non-essential public servants.
  • Nunavut Arctic College is suspending programming for three weeks.
  • The Minster of Health is declaring a public health emergency for Nunavut. We are declaring a public health emergency in order to be coordinated with efforts across the territories and Canada and take the measures necessary to keep us prepared for the virus.
  • We are asking Nunavummiut NOT to panic. Please don’t rush to stock up on groceries – we are still getting supplies and food.
  • Listen to the advice of Health professionals, practise social distancing and continue to follow preventive measures (wash your hands, etc).
  • GN will continue to deliver services to Nunavummiut.

 

Department of Health

  • The Minster of Health is declaring a public health emergency for Nunavut, effective Friday, March 20:
  • All bars will be closed.
  • All restaurants will be open for take-out/delivery only and no more than 10 people for line-ups.
  • Pharmacies, gas stations, and grocery stores will remain open
  • All Health staff are essential and will re-deployed as necessary.
  • Immediate access to urgent and emergent health care services are and will continue to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • All clients are asked to call before presenting at a health facility.
  • All non-essential medical travel out of the territory has been postponed.
  • Physicians will continue community visits.
  • Visitation in all health facilities will be limited to reduce the risk of transmission of illness.
  • Mental health supports are available and remain the same territory-wide.
  • Well baby clinics, prenatal visits and immunizations are continuing across Nunavut.
  • Health is working with specialist clinics to triage upcoming appointments.
  • For Iqaluit, for non-emergency situations please call first before coming to Qikiqtani General Hospital.
  • Clinics will be dealt with through phone calls where it can be. No appointments will be cancelled.
  • Patients and their families are asked to contact the health centre by phone to have initial assessment conducted over the phone.
  • Specialty clinics have been cancelled. Work is underway to determine which clients can be seen by phone/virtual care.
  • Physicians will continue community visits. If this is not possible, the visits will be conducted by telehealth.
  • In Iqaluit, Public Health remains open. Rehab appointments will be triaged, and some may be postponed.

FANS and ALTs

  • Students should remain at their school location until such time that the semester is officially ended. At this point, classes are suspended, not cancelled.
  • Student residences remain open, and students are permitted to stay at the school’s residence until the end of April. The schools are also continuing their food services.
  • To ensure there is no financial hardship for our out-of-territory students, those who receive funding from FANS or ALTS will continue to receive funding for as long as they are away from home.

Department of Education

  • The Government of Nunavut is working on solutions so children continue to be fed.
  • Licensed child care staff should continue to be paid while child care facilities are closed.
  • When schools are reopened, the buildings will be cleaned and disinfected to prevent any spread of COVID-19.

Department of Justice

  • The Department of Justice is focusing on the health and safety of staff, inmates and the communities We have developed contingency plans to ensure we are able to continue operations
  • Community Corrections is closed for in-person client visits, Community Corrections clients to report by phone to their Community Corrections Officer.
  • All visitations to the facilities are suspended to ensure the health and safety of our inmates and staff.
  • The Nunavut Court of Justice (NCJ) suspended regular operations, however, the Nunavut Court of Justice will continue to hear urgent matters during this time.

Department of Finance

  • Nunavummiut and Nunavut businesses have many options to meet the tax deadlines and obligations.
  • Nunavummiut and Nunavut businesses have the option of calling in to pay their GN invoices.
  • GN vendors have the option of submitting their invoices electronically.
  • Eligible GN employees can receive payroll documents online.

Department of Economic Development & Transportation

  • Scheduled flight services remain available to support essential travel.
  • Nunavut’s air cargo supply chain is robust and includes a series of independent systems. While panic buying will cause short term shortages, community store will be restocked.
  • Nunavummiut will be able to renew their drivers’ licences and vehicle registrations and – importantly – remain in good standing with respect to their insurance coverage and/or employment (where this involves driving). All while observing recommended social distancing practices.
  • EDT has cancelled all Driver Examinations until April 7, and suspended group programming in Visitors Centres.
  • Nunavummiut can be assured that protocols are in place to protect the population and that mining activities do not necessarily reflect an increased risk.

Other:

  • Family Services: The GN is working with shelter societies to enable extended hours as well as utilize potential additional spaces to enable more social distancing. There are only three shelters in Nunavut that currently close during the day.
  • Qulliq Energy Corporation: QEC will continue to deliver safe and reliable power to Nunavummiut and provide customers and employees with regular updates.
  • Culture & Heritage: While the Iqaluit library remains open to the public, all programming has been cancelled at the Iqaluit library. The library remains open.
  • Environment: Essential services like problem wildlife response and spill response continue as normal.