As part of ongoing efforts to hand out rapid antigen tests (RAT) to critical and essential workers across the territory the Government of Nunavut (GN) has announced additional details on RAT distribution.

There are two types of test kits which will be distributed, the first announced previously has two tests per package and are being handed out to travellers coming into Nunavut or travellers coming through travel hubs at gateway airports in Yellowknife, Ottawa, Rankin Inlet, Sanikiluaq, Winnipeg and Iqaluit. 7,500 tests or 3,750 kits will be given out.

The second type of kit has five tests in a box and will be handed out across GN departments, municipalities and critical businesses. Critical businesses include food retailers, emergency household repair services, transportation services such as taxis, meat and fish processing workers, as well as airport cargo workers and maintainers.

In February, 42,454 tests or 8,490 kits (rounded) were ordered for GN departments and agencies to distribute. Nunavut Arctic College is allocated 420 tests or 84 kits, Nunavut Housing Corporation 250 tests or 50 kits and Qulliq Energy Corporation will be getting 1,500 tests, or 300 kits. Delivery is still pending as of Feb. 16.

Municipalities in Qikiqtani are scheduled to be sent 6,564 tests or 1,312 kits, Kivalliq 3,876 tests, or 775 kits and Kitikmeot communities will be getting 2,712 tests, or 542 kits.

Critical businesses across Nunavut will be getting 3,000 kits with 15,000 tests total. These tests are meant to support 1,876 critical workers across 195 businesses in the territory.

The Government of Nunavut worked with the federal government, territorial stakeholders and with its departments in securing RATs and are currently working to expand delivery of tests to the general public.

Nunavut chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson stated that rapid antigen tests should be used only when symptoms develop and are not a replacement for isolation. Isolation requirements remain the same, seven days from onset of symptom or positive test for fully vaccinated individuals and 10 days from onset of symptom or positive test for unvaccinated individuals.

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