A checkstop has been established on the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway and will remain in place until Dec. 3.
Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk officials announced the checkstop on their Facebook page Nov. 23.
“The intent of it is to try and slow traffic down,” said Mayor Erwin Elias. “We don’t want people travelling for unnecessary reasons, so hopefully we can make that more clear by doing a road check.
“We’re asking people to not come to visit if its not an emergency or an essential reason. When we did the check stop the last time it turned out pretty well.”
Citing Section ‘E’ of the Public Health Order, which is in place until at least Nov. 29, the notice reads “Persons are prohibited from gathering outdoors with persons who do not reside with them.”
Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Tuktoyaktuk have been steadily dropping since peaking last week when just over 10 per cent of the community was diagnosed with the virus. As of 9 a.m. Nov. 22, there are now only 36 active cases in the community, which remains under containment order.
“Covid-19 does go away when you’re not in contact,” said Erwin. “We’re going on two weeks here. At the start it was the kids that were affected the hardest, and then community spread. I think more than likely it’s going to be the adults that are going to be the big cause of further spread, because all the kids are staying home. The community has really quietened down and the streets are pretty quiet.”
Elias added there is talk of a community harvest for people in isolation, as well as for single parents and others in need. Family gaming packages have been distributed to households in the community to help people keep occupied while the containment is underway.
He added the hamlet wasn’t considering further measures, but was monitoring the situation in case numbers start shooting back up again.
Canadian Rangers are available to run errands on behalf of people in isolation. They will be on hand in the community to assist until at least Dec. 1. Their service may be extended if the situation requires it. Assistance with medication pick up and delivery, grocery pick up and delivery and mail pick up and delivery can be requested by phoning 1-867-689-2178 from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“The Rangers are doing a great job out here,” said Elias. “And volunteers in the community, delivering packages to each house. We’re trying to accommodate people staying home, so people don’t have to be running around.”
An isolation station has been set up at the gymnasium of Mangilaluk School. It’s intended to provide a safe space for people who test positive for Covid-19. MACA and the department of infrastructure are working on sending cots to the community and a two public health workers are en route to the Hamlet to assist in the containment.
A notice from the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk is reminding people the isolation order is still in effect even if they test negative for Covid-19. Hamlet officials stress that tests must be booked in advance and are not walk-in. To book a test, contact the Rosie Ovayuak Health Centre at 1-867-977-2321. The hamlet asks anyone with an appointment to be on time.
Anyone in the same household of someone who is told to self isolate must remain in isolation for the entire 14 days.