East Three School Elementary has been temporally closed on account of Covid-19 by order of the Chief Public Health Officer.

Effective 7 p.m. Nov. 7, the entire elementary school is closed to in-person learning for 10 days. As of Nov. 7, there are 11 active cases of Covid-19 in Inuvik, nine of which are children 12 and under.

All East Three Elementary staff and students are also ordered to isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. Anyone in isolation may return to school after 10 days if they pass a Covid-19 test and receive an assessment card.

East Three Secondary School is also closed as a precaution. Students will continue learning online and any student who does not have a laptop or internet access can reach out to the school for assistance.

Anyone living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for Covid-19 is also ordered to isolate regardless of vaccine status and complete the same testing before leaving isolation.

In addition, all extracurricular activities, even those unrelated to school, involving anyone age 12 or under is cancelled for the duration of the order.

An outbreak at East Three School was declared Nov. 6 by the OCPHO. Close contacts of individuals who have been tested positive for Covid-19 are currently being contacted by public health. Close contacts are defined as anyone who has “interactions with a person with a COVID-19 infection.” The order, attributed to deputy chief public health officer Dr. James Talbot, notes all staff and students at East Three Elementary School are considered close contacts.

A letter sent to parents Sunday night from Beaufort Delta District Education Council superintendent Devin Roberts notes that Covid-19 exposures have been confirmed in one kindergarten class, one grade four class, two grade five classes and one grade six class.

Covid-19 cases in Inuvik shot up Nov. 3, with the GNWT publishing several exposure notices throughout the week for the school, Children’s First Society, the dentist, two of the three bars in town and the Midnight Sun Complex.

Anyone who was at Shivers Lounge on Oct. 25 and 26 from 6 p.m. 9:45 p.m., Western Arctic Dental Group on Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Children First Society Daycare on those three days from 8 a.m. to five p.m. who is not fully vaccinated should isolate immediately and book a Covid-19 test. Then, a Nov. 4, 2:49 p.m. update lists the Gwich’in Tribal Council and Gwich’in Development Corporation from Oct. 25 to 29 at 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Shivers Lounge on Oct. 26 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Oct 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Nov. 1 from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 220 on Oct. 30 from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Oct. 31.

Exposures at Shivers Lounge on Oct. 25 and 26 from 6 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., Western Arctic Dental Group on Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the Children First Society Daycare on Oct. 25, 26 and Nov. 1 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In response to this, the Mackenzie Hotel announced it will be closing its dine-in service and the lounge effective immediately. Pick up orders are still available online.

Children’s First Society announced on its Facebook page it has notified all families of the exposure notice. The notice was for one of the program rooms. As an essential service, the day care announced it is remaining open until the Chief Public Health Officer mandates otherwise.

“We are in communication with our regulating body, the Department of Education, Culture and Employment, to ensure we do everything possible to meet the needs of the children and their families,” said the notice. “We have offered support to the isolating families and will do everything we can to assist the families in these uncertain times. Any family who is concerned is welcome to keep their child at home until this all settles down.

“Monday we had a visit from the Red Cross Infection Prevention Control team. It was part of their regular tour of the Beaufort Delta. The one recommendation they made we implemented immediately. We thank the community for their understanding and support as we figure this all out with the help of CPHO.”

In addition, an exposure was listed for the hockey program at the Midnight Sun Complex.

Anyone playing U11 hockey on Nov. 2 between 6:45 and 7:45 p.m. has been potentially exposed to Covid-19 and should isolate immediately. Fully vaccinated people should self-monitor for symptoms and isolate if they develop. All Roy Ipana Memorial Arena activities, including league hockey and public skates, have been suspended until further notice.

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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