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Nunavut will be under Covid lockdown conditions for at two weeks, beginning Wednesday, as the virus has been spreading rapidly in the Kivalliq region.

The Government of Nunavut announced on Monday afternoon that all non-essential services, businesses and organizations will be required to close and switch to work from home, wherever possible. All schools will close and move to remote learning plans. Childcare centres will be closed to all but essential workers.

“It’s more important than ever that we do everything we can to help our communities. I know this will be hard, but we can do this.,” says Premier Joe Savikataaq.
NNSL file photo

Masks are now strongly recommended in public spaces, and when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Masks remain mandatory in the Kivalliq region, and Sanikiluaq, the two areas of Nunavut hardest hit by the virus, which is known to have infected 18 people in the territory so far.

“As we see more cases in our communities, it is vital we look at ways to break potential transmission of Covid-19 in the territory,” said chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson. “Limiting any potential exposure to the virus is our best possible defence in Nunavut. We will re-evaluate the effectiveness of these measures on Dec. 2, to determine if they need to continue or are working the way we hope.”

The Government of Nunavut strongly advises against non-essential travel. Outdoor gatherings over five people will no longer be permitted and indoor gatherings are restricted to five people in addition to household members. All recreation facilities will be closed. All sporting activities and events are suspended. All restaurants become take-out only, and bars will be closed.

Personal services, such has hairstylists and masseuses must close. All health centres and the Qikiqtani General Hospital are closed except for emergency services. Government of Nunavut services
will be maintained with staff transitioning to work from home, where possible.

“Nunavummiut, this is our opportunity to re-set and plank the curve in our fight against Covid-19. We all need to work together to protect one another,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq. “It’s more important than ever that we do everything we can to help our communities. I know this will be hard, but we can do this. If we all do our part, we will be in a much better position in early December. Please don’t take chances. Stay home and stay safe.”

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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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