Vaccination numbers in Nunavik, the Inuit region of Arctic Quebec, went up slightly between September 19 and October 19, but remain far short of the health board’s goal of 75 per cent.
“Immunization coverage between September 19th and October 17th increased by 5% for the entire population,” the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
“Those who received 2 doses reached 45%. More than half (59%) who can be vaccinated received two doses. Efforts must increase to reach the target of 75%.”
The latest figures come amidst a COVID-19 outbreak this month, the first time the region has had wide-spread community transmission since March 2020.
As of Tuesday, there were 114 active cases in Nunavik, with a first case reported in the Ungava community of Quaqtaq on Tuesday.
Five communities remain on red alert meaning they’re on lockdown until further notice, non-essential services have been shut down, and visits between people living in different households is prohibited.
The five communities are: Kangiqsualujjuaq, Kuujjuaq, Kangirsuk, Salluit and Ivujivik.
Flights suspended, inter-community travel prohibited
With active cases continuing to balloon, especially on the Ungava coast, health authorities have suspended all flights between the Ungava coast side of Nunavik and the Hudson coast of Nunavik as of Tuesday.
The only exceptions will be required travels for airline employees.
Inter-community travel, whether by plane, ATV, boat or snowmobile, is also prohibited except for essential services, in certain humanitarian cases or if travel to a community is required under court order.
“Each organization must consider the extent to which travel of an employee, consultant, contractor – and client in the case of a health center – is essential and cannot be postponed,” Marie Rochette, Nunavik’s Director of Public Health, said in the ordonnance signed on October 26.
Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca
Related stories from around the North:
Greenland: Greenland lifts COVID-19 restrictions on direct travel to small communities, Eye on the Arctic
Iceland: Iceland to soften COVID-19 rules on Oct. 20, plans full lifting of restrictions next month, Eye on the Arctic
United States: Rural Alaska at risk as COVID-19 surge swamps faraway hospitals, The Associated Press
Antarctica: U.K. delivers COVID-19 vaccine to British station in Antarctica, Eye on the Arctic