There are 244 positive cases in Nunavut as of Jan. 6, with active cases in 12 communities.

There are 72 cases in Iqaluit, 48 in Arviat, 45 in Rankin Inlet, 23 in Kinngait, 19 in Pangnirtung, 17 in Iglulik, 10 in Sanrajak, five in Qikiqtarjuaq, two in Chesterfield Inlet and one in Baker Lake, Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet. There is still one presumptive case in Sanikiluaq and another in Whale Cove.

The majority of these cases have been identified as the Omicron variant.

On Jan. 6 there were eight further recoveries announced, making for a total of 24 recoveries thus far. There have been six hospitalizations from Covid-19 so far.

Requests for personal protective equipment and rapid antigen tests have been made to the federal government, said Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok, a shipment of the latter is expected to arrive within the “next few days,” he said, with enough tests for four per person. These will be available at gateway airports such as Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Yellowknife, Sanikiluaq, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit. Travellers are to take the tests on days 6 and 14 of their isolation.

A negative Covid-19 test does not replace a 14-day isolation.

The Department of Health has procured 250,000 to 300,000 masks which will be given out to communities, which will be sent directly to the hamlets when it arrives.

The premier acknowledged overcrowded housing as a contributing factor to the rapid spread of Covid-19 in many communities.

”As such, our government will continue to advocate for housing in Nunavut,” Akeeagok stated.

Government asking for daycares to reopen for critical workers

Premier Akeeagok is also asking for Nunavut’s daycares to reopen, as people who still have to go to work are facing an “unsustainable” problem with managing kids and work.

“I am asking that you reopen your doors to help keep our critical services operational. Our healthcare workers, store employees, water and waste management workers must go above and beyond to help our territory during this severe wave of Covid-19. Many of these critical services are close to the breaking point. Staff are exhausted, balancing work as well as childcare,” said Akeeagok.

Minister of Education and Deputy Premier Pamela Gross will be spearheading the effort to help provide daycare facilities with incentives to open their doors.

Non-critical workers to work at home

Human resources minister Adam Lightstone has also given an update for Government of Nunavut employees.

Effective Jan. 4 to 17, the Government of Nunavut has transitioned to a work-from-home protocol. All public servants, including essential service positions are encouraged to work from home if possible.

Workers are to only go to the workplace if required to do so and those workplaces are to keep staff numbers minimal.

“Government of Nunavut employees are encouraged to contact their supervisors to determine if they are critically essential and attendance is required at the workplace, or if they are essential and can work from home,” said Lightstone.

To help with this transition, the GN will be assisting with laptops, internet access, remote access to work emails, video conferencing, access to shared network drives and other software applications.

“Our priority is to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for all of our staff to provide essential services to Nunavummiut,” said Lightstone.

Reopening of Government of Nunavut offices will be dependent on public health measures set out by the chief public health officer.

Employees are encouraged to speak with their supervisors for each individual specific situation.

“Thank you for your part to keep Nunavut safe,” said Akeeagok.

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