Nunavik community of Kangiqsujuaq put on red alert amidst rising COVID-19 cases

The community of Kangiqsujuaq in Nunavik, Quebec. (Eilís Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)

The community of Kangiqsujuaq in Nunavik, the Inuit region of northern Quebec, was put on red alert on Friday amidst rising COVID-19 cases and strong suspicion of community transmission, the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services said in a Facebook post.

Case counts as of Friday, the most recent data available, put active cases at 12, in the community of approximately 750 people.

Nunavik’s COVID-19 alert system has five levels:

  • Green – low risk
  • Yellow – controlled risk
  • Orange – moderate risk
  • Orange (+) – moderate risk plus some additional public health measures including curfew
  • Red – high risk

Each level triggers a different series of health measures in order to control the circulation of COVID-19.

Kangiqsujuaq’s move to red alert means a 10pm to 5am curfew is now in place, visiting between separate households is prohibited, and non-essential services including places like church and the gym have been shut down.

Essential services like the co-op store and health clinic remain open, but health authorities ask people to limit their trips as much as possible.

As of Friday, Nunavik was reporting 329 active COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 cases in Nunavik

The most recent active case counts in Nunavik as of January 14:

  • Puvirnituq: 111
  • Kangigsualujjuaq: 84
  • Kuujjuaq: 45
  • Salluit: 24
  • Tasiujaq: 24
  • Ivujivik: 15
  • Kangiqsujuaq: 12
  • Aupaluk: 3
  • Inukjuak: 3
  • Kangirsuk: 3
  • Quaqtaq: 3
  • Kuujjuaraapik: 2
  • Akulivik: no active cases
  • Umiujaq: no active case 

Source: Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services

Of the region’s 14 communities, seven are on red alert: Puvirnituq, Ivujivik, Salluit, Kangiqsujuaq, Tasiujaq, Kuujjuaq and Kangiqsualujjuaq.

Seven communities are currently at the orange plus level: Umiujaq, Inukjuak, Akulivik, Quaqtaq, Kangirsuk and Aupaluk.

The COVID-19 alert levels in Nunavik’s 14 communities as of Friday, January 14. (Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services)

There’s been 1,407 recoveries since the current outbreak in Nunavik started at the beginning of October 2021.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn@cbc.ca 

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Layoffs of 12 unvaccinated employees at Canadian North had ‘minimal’ impact on operations, says airline, CBC News

Greenland: Greenland gov grants mayor’s request for alcohol ban amidst rising COVID-19 cases, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Swedish government announces new restrictions following sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, Radio Sweden

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