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If any of Nunavut’s schools is going to close to due concerns over coronavirus COVID-19, it’s going to be by direction of the territory’s chief medical officer, Education Minister David Joanasie said in the legislative assembly on Thursday.

“We do not want to cause people to panic,” Education Minister David Joanasie says.
photo courtesy of the legislative assembly

In the meantime, janitors and cleaners in educational facilities “will be told how important it is to keep it even cleaner,” said Joanasie.

Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet MLA Cathy Towtongie pointed out that the Arctic Winter Games have been cancelled and asked whether sports activities at various schools will also be abandoned.

Joanasie replied, “We will try and keep the communities informed about COVID-19 and how much it is spreading. We do not want to cause people to panic, and each community or school should make up their own mind on what they want if there is going to be a big
competition happening in the community.

“For example, the district education authorities can make a decision regarding after school
hours and to allow people to use the school gym during night time,” the minister said. “They have the right to refuse those requests as well. That is their authority as managers. We are going to leave the decision up to them, and once we hear something we will convey the message on to them.”

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Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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