3 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Canada’s Arctic territory of Nunavut

Canada’s Arctic territory of Nunavut reported on Monday a total of 259 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. The Inuit community of Arviat has been the epicentre of the territory’s outbreak. (Jordan Konek/CBC)
Three new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Canada’s Arctic territory of Nunavut since Friday, according to a government news release sent Monday morning.

All three new cases are in Arviat, an Inuit community located on the western shore of Hudson Bay.

There are now 19 active cases in the territory, according to the territorial government’s website.

“Contact tracing in all impacted communities is ongoing and public health staff are monitoring everyone in isolation,” the release states.

It says that as of Dec. 20, COVID-19 testing has yielded 1030 negative results in Arviat, while monitoring in Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove continues.

First two COVID-19-related deaths reported over the weekend

The news comes on the heels of the territory reporting its first two deaths from COVID-19 this past weekend.

On Sunday, the government of Nunavut issued a news release in which it said two residents of the territory, one from Arviat and the other from Rankin Inlet, had died from complications related to COVID-19.

“While we mourn the loss of two residents this week, it’s necessary we continue to fight the spread of the virus. Stay strong and stay healthy,” said Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson, who urged Nunavummiut to maintain strong public health measures in the days ahead.

The government is also asking Nunavummiut who think they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 to call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, or notify their community health centre right away. They must also immediately isolate at home for 14 days.

The government asks those people not to go to the health centre in-person.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Travel ‘bubble’ in northern Canada between N.W.T. and Nunavut suspended until further notice, CBC News

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

Sweden: Sweden’s northernmost county among regions to introduce stricter COVID-19 recommendations, Radio Sweden

United States: After early containment success, there’s now rapid COVID-19 spread in rural Alaska, including the Arctic, Alaska Public Media

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