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2 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Kinngait

·2 min read
A file photo of a stop sign in Iqaluit. New measures are in place as two new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Kinngait Monday evening. (Natalie Maerzluft/Reuters - image credit)
A file photo of a stop sign in Iqaluit. New measures are in place as two new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Kinngait Monday evening. (Natalie Maerzluft/Reuters - image credit)

Two new cases of COVID-10 have been confirmed in Kinngait, Nunavut.

The cases were announced by Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut's chief public health officer in a news release Monday.

The cases are not linked to the outbreak in Iqaluit, it says. The territory now has 30 active cases of COVID-19, 28 of which are in Iqaluit.

Contact tracing in the community has been started and Patterson says both individuals are isolating at home and doing well.

"To contain any potential spread within the community, it's crucial that residents of Kinngait do their part and follow the updated public health measures," Patterson said.

"Please be vigilant in staying home."

New measures

Effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, all travel to and from Kinngait is restricted, except for cargo and emergency travel. That includes all travel by land.

All non-essential travel continues to be highly discouraged. Within Kinngait, all non-essential services and government offices must close.

All indoor public gatherings are banned, and are limited to household members plus five people, for emergency purposes only. Outdoor gatherings are limited to five people.

Schools are moving to remote instruction only, and daycares must close.

In all other Qikiqtaaluk communities, the release says, indoor gatherings are restricted to a household's members plus a maximum of five, from one other household. Indoor gatherings in halls, conference spaces, government offices, Inuit organizations and hamlets are limited to 25 people or 50 per cent of the rated capacity, whichever is less.

Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people. Schools there will move to Stage 3, meaning blended online and in-person learning, and daycares can remain open.

Masks will be mandatory in all public places in all Qikiqtaaluk communities and in Rankin Inlet.

All other public health measures in Rankin Inlet will stay the same.

Anyone who has travelled from Iqaluit after April 7 must isolate immediately.

Premier Joe Savikataaq said that step is "critical."

"As we continue with contact tracing, we cannot take chances or unnecessary risks," said Savikataaq.

"If you are in a public space, you must wear a mask and maintain strong physical distance. Stay home as much as possible and ensure only one member of the household goes to the store or for essential services," he said.

"We must all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19."

Anyone who thinks they've been exposed to COVID-19 is told to call the COVID-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, or notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days.

People should not go to the health centre in person, the release says.

The territory is set to provide an update in a news conference on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET.