COVID-19 cases increase in NWT and Nunavut; Iqaluit declared a state of emergency

IQALUIT – The capital of Nunavut declared a state of emergency on Monday and Yellowknife in the neighboring NWT closed its schools as news areas of COVID-19 spread to both areas.

There were 81 out of 85 active cases of nunavut in Iqaluit, a city of about 8,000 people.

The council unanimously announced a local emergency starting at midnight to empower the city under its Emergency Measures Act to enforce urban health rights.

In Iqaluit city Kaun, “Given the seriousness of the state of affairs with the community broadcasting of COVID-19 in Iqbaluit, I will make a motion to declare a state of local emergency.” Kyle Sheppard said.

The news release said it also allows the city to “take additional measures to support vulnerable populations”.

Over the weekend, Iqaluit’s “low-barrier” shelter, usually open from 8am to 8pm each day, closed after all four employees went into isolation for COVID-19 and one tested positive. The shelter is the only dedicated place in the city where drunk people can live.

Iqaluit reported his first infection on April 14, but the area’s chief public health officer has said that the virus is likely to have occurred a week earlier in the city.

Last week, health officials confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iqbaluit’s jails and medical boarding homes.

A strict lockout has been imposed in the city which includes school closures and travel restrictions from 15 April.

NJ MacPherson School tightened its public health measures in Northwestern areas on Monday after reporting eight cases of COVID-19 and 12 possible cases. As a result, all schools in Yellowknife were closed indefinitely.

The Chief Public Health Officer of the NWT, Drs. Kami Kandola said that most of the cases were of children. Health officials were investigating how the virus is entering the school and working to determine if the city had clusters dating back to the first April.

Kandola said that while the NWT is “on the verge of community,” all cases have so far been linked to school outbreaks.

The NWT also said that it is working to finalize an agreement with British Columbia to receive Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine supplements in exchange for modern Columbia supplements so that adolescents can be vaccinated.

Only modern vaccines are available at NWT and Nunavut, and it is not yet approved for anyone under 18.

Given the COVID-19 position in the NWT, the chief public health officer of Nunavut, Drs. Michael Patterson suspended the general travel zone between the two areas.

Until now, NWT residents could enter Nunavut without secession. Effective immediately, anyone going from NWT to Nunavut must detach for 14 days in a designated hotel before entering Nunavut.

There are some exceptions to the new order, including essential workers and medical travelers.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 3, 2021.

The story was produced with the financial support of Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.


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