COVID-19 GN Update - July 27, 2020

July 27, 2020

Premier’s update:

Good morning. There are no confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

The total number of persons followed to date is 1719. There are 225 persons currently being followed.

Last week, we opened a second isolation hub in Winnipeg, to accommodate the large number of backlogged medical travel patients.

As of today, we have 170 rooms, and we hope to have everyone currently on the waiting list in Winnipeg into isolation by early this week.

Thanks to everyone who was able to get all the logistics together so quickly, and to those in Winnipeg who have been so patient.

We’ve seen cases rise in certain parts of the country in the last week or so. It’s important that we all remember the very real risk that continues with this virus. We are not immune. COVID-19 is nowhere near over. Our public health advice matters – wash your hands often, keep two metres distance and stay home if you’re feeling unwell.

 

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

Calling Ahead at Health Centres

Unless you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call your health centre first before going in. Describe your symptoms, and health care providers can conduct a telephone assessment and may schedule in-person appointments for appropriate care.

Wearing Masks at Health Centres

If you are presenting at a health centre with respiratory symptoms like coughing, sneezing, or a runny nose, please wear a mask. If you do not have a mask, please tell whoever receives you at the health centre of your symptoms, and they can provide you with one.

New Email for Travellers

A new email address has been established for Nunavummiut planning travel outside of the territory. All travellers must submit an Isolation Reservation Request Form to NUisolationreservations@nunavutcare.ca as soon as travel plans are known to ensure that the travel team can identify room availability and reserve stays in a designated isolation facility. More information can be found on the Department of Health website.

Isolation sites concern inbox

A new email address has been established to better address concerns and comments from clients completing 14-day isolation in the Isolation Sites in Southern Canada. The new email will take pressure off the COVID toll free line, patient relations and the CPHOtravelrequests inbox. The new email address is isolationrelations@gov.nu.ca.

Volumes

Total (All Isolation Locations)

Traveler Type

Guests in Isolation as of July 24

Medical Travel

1621

Public

1151

Total

2832

 

Traveller repatriation summary:

Departure Date

# of Travellers from Isolation Sites

July 25

1

July 26

15

July 27

58

July 28

19

July 29

48



Critical Worker Requests

As of July 26, there are 3000 requests, 1850 of which are critical worker requests.

Request Status

#

%

Approved (includes critical and non-critical)

2461

83%

Denied

213

7.1%

Pending

11

.4%

Common Travel Area Approved

315

10.5%

Total

3000

100%



Ongoing services:

Access to health care services will remain available in all communities 7 days a week. All non-urgent requests will be triaged daily. 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.

Beginning June 8, there will be an increased availability of in-person health assessments at health centres across the territory.

  • In Iqaluit, public health, the emergency room and inpatient unit will remain open.
  • Well baby clinics, prenatal visits and immunizations are continuing across Nunavut.
  • Physicians will continue community visits. If this is not possible, the visits will be conducted by telehealth or by phone.
  • Lab and Diagnostic Imaging services at QGH have resumed regular services

Adjusted services:

Appointments at health facilities are being triaged, this means the appointment may be over the phone or in person.

Medical travel services have been reduced to urgent medical travel only.  Clients will be advised of these changes and involved in discussions. 

In Iqaluit, outpatient clinics and rehab are triaging all appointments and conducting appointments. All upcoming appointments are being triaged.

The inpatient ward at QGH is allowing limited visitors to the inpatient ward following a questionnaire.

MHA has moved to telephone check in and support for some clients. Scheduled appointments for medication pick up and administration remain the same. If you are in crisis, present to the health centre. Home visits to administer medications will be treated on a case by case basis.

Beginning June 15, normal dental services are permitted to resume, though this service may not be available in all communities immediately. For communities where normal service resumption is delayed, emergency services are still available.

Beginning June 29, Nunavut – Continuing Care Centres (CCCs) and Elders’ Homes will accept visitors on a limited basis. Each resident or inpatient may have no more than two visitors at once, and visitors shall be restricted to immediate family members only (which includes grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

Speciality clinics have been cancelled. Work is underway to determine which clients can be seen by phone/virtual care.

All non-essential travel for mental health clients and families are cancelled.  All non-essential travel for families visiting clients in care is cancelled.

 

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: 696

Construction workers who completed isolation July 20 - July 24, 2020

Departure Date

Number

Destination

20/Jul/20

4

Cambridge Bay

20/Jul/20

3

Gjoa Haven

20/Jul/20

2

Baker Lake

20-Jul-20

1

Arviat

20-Jul-20

2

Rankin Inlet

20-Jul-20

5

Iqaluit

20-Jul-20

1

Pangnirtung

20-Jul-20

1

Igloolik

20-Jul-20

4

Pond Inlet

20-Jul-20

1

Arviat

20-Jul-20

2

Arctic Bay

20-Jul-20

4

Cape Dorset

20-Jul-20

8

Kugaaruk

20-Jul-20

8

Iqaluit

21/Jul/20

3

Cambridge Bay

21/Jul/20

2

Sanikiluaq

21/Jul/20

1

Arviat

22/Jul/20

4

Iqaluit

22/Jul/20

2

Pangnirtung

22/Jul/20

1

Resolute Bay

23/Jul/20

2

Kugaaruk

23/Jul/20

4

Iqaluit

23/Jul/20

6

Pond Inlet

24/Jul/20

1

Cape Dorset



GN office buildings in all communities remain closed to the public at this time. If a member of the public needs to meet with GN staff, alternate arrangements need to be made. Please call ahead of time and make an appointment.

 

Department of Education Services

On Friday, July 24, the Department of Education release the 2020-21 Opening Plan for Nunavut Schools: Health and Safety.

Because there are no confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut, all schools will open, as scheduled, for the new school year, unless otherwise directed by Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO).

To see when your school opens and the Department of Education’s 2020-21 Opening Plan for Nunavut Schools, visit: https://gov.nu.ca/education/information/2020-21-opening-plan-nunavut-schools

Planning for 2020-21 School Year

  • All schools will open, as scheduled, for the new school year, unless otherwise directed by CPHO.
  • 4 stages have been developed to direct school operations depending on the impacts of COVID-19 in each community.
  • The CPHO will determine when a community moves from stage to stage.
  • For updates, check the Department of Education website and listen to GN press conferences.

Educators/School Staff

  • Educator recruitment is on track for the 2020-21 school year.
    • There are currently 30 open educator positions across the territory.
  • Teachers and school staff are not defined as critical workers and are required to follow the same isolation process as other Nunavummiut returning to the territory.
  • The department worked with the Department of Health to secure reservations in the hubs and return travel dates and ensure out of territory school staff could return for the start of the school year.

Health and Safety Restrictions

  • Health and safety restrictions are different in schools than everywhere else for several reasons:
    • It is critical to balance the risk of direct infection and transmission of COVID-19 in children with the harms of school closure on their physical and mental health. 
    • Current evidence suggests that children may be less susceptible to COVID-19 infection and may be less likely to transmit the virus to others.
    • Schools are controlled environments, and any potential spread of the virus can be managed and tracked more easily.
  • The Department of Education, the CPHO, and DEAs/CSFN were involved in the development of the health and safety plans.
  • Cleaning will be enhanced in all schools, and custodians will receive guidelines and training.

Learning and Instruction

  • The focus in the first several months of school will be on learning recovery, assessment, and instruction.
  • School staff will receive guidelines and a toolkit for learning, instruction, and assessment, including information on remote instruction, and expectations for communicating with students.

Physical distancing and masks

  • Physical distancing requirements depend on the stage a community is in.
  • Adjusting the percentage of students in school will help support limited contact between students, as needed.
  • The department will work with schools and DEAs in Stages 2 and 3 regarding physical distancing requirements, including organizing students by cohort.
  • In general, the use of masks is not recommended for children.
    • At the discretion of the CPHO, there may be some instances where students should wear masks.
    • Some school staff may wear masks, if they are unable to physically distance when required by the CPHO.
  • School assemblies will be avoided so as not to mix classroom cohorts.

 

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.