Nunavut health authorities report new case of COVID-19 in Arviat

Canada’s Arctic territory of Nunavut reported anouther case of COVID-19 infection on Thursday. The Inuit community of Arviat has been the epicentre of the territory’s outbreak. (Jordan Konek/CBC)
Health authorities in Nunavut are reporting another case of COVID-19 in the Inuit community of Arviat, bringing the total number of active coronavirus infections in the Arctic territory to 18, all in the small hamlet on the western shores of Hudson Bay.

In a statement released on Thursday morning, Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer, said “all individuals are asymptomatic, doing well and are isolating.”

Contact tracing in the community is ongoing and public health staff are monitoring everyone in isolation, Patterson said.

Nunavut’s Rapid Response Team is supporting the community health team, he added.

Health authorities are asking anyone who has travelled to and from Arviat since Jan. 19 to limit their contacts and self-monitor for symptoms. These travellers are also being asked to contact their local health authorities to help with contact tracing and monitoring.

Vaccine doses still available in Arviat

Nunavut health officials said vaccine doses are still available in Arviat and encouraged residents over the age of 18 to contact the health centre to make an appointment.

“Thank you to everyone who has participated in the vaccination clinics so far. Your example and commitment to the health and wellbeing of all Nunavummiut is appreciated,” Patterson said in a statement. “It’s important that everyone continue to practise all public health measures for the foreseeable future.”

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. EST, or notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days, health officials said.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Here’s the latest on COVID-19 in Canada’s North, CBC News

Denmark/Greenland: Greenland authorities buoyed by high demand for COVID-19 vaccine, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: COVID-19 variant prompts Iceland to require quarantine for children entering country as of January 13, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norway closes borders over fears of virus, but exempts Russian fishermen from severely infected border region, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia’s Northern Fleet begins 2nd stage of COVID-19 vaccination, Radio Canada International

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

Levon Sevunts, Radio Canada International

Born and raised in Armenia, Levon started his journalistic career in 1990, covering wars and civil strife in the Caucasus and Central Asia. In 1992, after the government in Armenia shut down the TV program he was working for, Levon immigrated to Canada. He learned English and eventually went back to journalism, working first in print and then in broadcasting. Levon’s journalistic assignments have taken him from the High Arctic to Sahara and the killing fields of Darfur, from the streets of Montreal to the snow-capped mountaintops of Hindu Kush in Afghanistan. He says, “But best of all, I’ve been privileged to tell the stories of hundreds of people who’ve generously opened up their homes, refugee tents and their hearts to me.”

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