After going without a single recorded case, the territory now has 4 since Nov. 6
An Arviat resident has been confirmed as Nunavut’s fourth case of COVID-19.
The person had arrived to the hamlet after completing two weeks of isolation in Winnipeg, Nunavut’s Chief Pubic Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson said during a Friday news conference. About a week after returning, the individual developed symptoms, which rapidly worsened.
The person was medevaced to a Winnipeg hospital for treatment. The person was then tested for COVID-19 and a positive test result was confirmed Thursday. The individual is still outside of the territory isolating.
The case is similar to another person who tested positive in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut earlier this week.
About a week after returning to Rankin Inlet in late October following isolating in Winnipeg, the individual developed symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19.
The government of Nunavut uses two isolation hotels in Winnipeg for Nunavummiut to stay in before returning home from the South.
Officials are reviewing how the two individuals contracted the virus, but have not yet determined how transmission occurred.
As a result of this case, tighter restrictions will begin across the Kivalliq region. All non-essential businesses are being asked to close, masks will be required outside the home, indoor gatherings are prohibited and outdoor gatherings are restricted to a maximum of five people.
All schools in the Kivalliq have been moved to stage four of the Department of Education’s COVID-19 response plan, meaning no students are to attend in person.
Grocery stores will be able to remain open, but with reduced hours.
Starting on Sunday, travel will be restricted between Kivalliq communities, with only emergency and cargo flights permitted.
Contact tracing has begun in Arviat and a rapid response team is on standby to support the community if needed.
It comes a day after restrictions were tightened across the Kivalliq region and in Iqaluit, following a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut on Wednesday.
Two other cases have been confirmed in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut.
On Thursday, Patterson said all three cases are doing well.
Related stories from around the North:
Greenland: Greenland adds new incentive to promote domestic tourism as international travel craters, Eye on the Arctic
Iceland: New COVID-19 restrictions for Iceland’s schools and universities, Eye on the Arctic
United States: After early containment success, there’s now rapid COVID-19 spread in rural Alaska, including the Arctic, Alaska Public Media