For Immediate Release
IQALUIT, Nunavut (May 4, 2020) – Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer, has determined that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut. Last week’s result from Pond Inlet was re-tested and deemed a false positive.
“We have a very comprehensive system of investigating and tracing COVID-19 in the territory to ensure checks and balances are in place. Testing is one component, and further tracing, monitoring and evaluating information helps us capture the whole picture,” said Dr. Patterson. “As there were no other positive COVID-19 tests in Pond Inlet, we decided to ask for the original swab to be re-tested and a new test be conducted in the days following Thursday’s announcement.”
The Rapid Response Team’s initial swabs collected through its contact tracing investigation all tested negative in Iqaluit.
All territorial orders under the Public Health Emergency remain in effect. However, the additional measures specific to Pond Inlet as a result of the positive COVID-19 case are now lifted. Effective immediately, travel between Pond Inlet and other Nunavut communities may resume, and the community-specific restrictions on businesses and services in Pond Inlet are also rescinded.
“While this is a relief for many Nunavummiut, it does not mean anyone should relax or ease up on physical distancing, handwashing and cleaning surfaces often, and staying home,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq. “Please remain diligent in practicing these measures and keeping yourself and one another well. It’s up to all of us to keep our communities safe.”
Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, Anyone who has reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 is advised to call the COVID-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m, take the online self-assessment tool at https://nu.thrive.health/covid19/en or notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days.
More information will be provided at today’s 3 p.m. press conference.
Press Secretary to Premier Savikataaq