Skip to content

Premier Savikataaq stresses Covid-19 cases in Nunavut not linked to critical workers

Premier of Nunavut Joe Savikataaq is telling people not to start rumors or to blame critical or exempted workers going into communities for the recently confirmed Covid-19 cases during a press conference held in the Nunavut Legislative Assembly on Nov. 12.

Press Conference on first confirmed covid-19 case in Rankin Inlet
Premier of Nunavut Joe Savikataaq (left) and Nunavut’s CPHO Dr. Michael Patterson (right) during a press conference on Nov. 12 regarding the most recent confirmed case of covid-19 in Rankin Inlet just announced the day before. Photo by Trevor Wright.

On Nov. 11 the Government of Nunavut's Department of Health announced a confirmed case of Covid-19 in Rankin Inlet.

Public health measures in the community have been implemented but travel in and out of Rankin Inlet has not been restricted with it being a regional travel hub for the Kivalliq region. Non-essential travel is still not recommended.

“Without compromising any personal information, I can say this, there are no links between our confirmed cases," Savikataaq said.

"The positive cases are not exempted or critical workers, anyone who implies or says otherwise is wrong."

“This kind of blame serves no purpose, it definitely doesn’t help people with Covid or our communities.”

With this new case, the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) Dr. Michael Patterson acknowledged people's concerns about wanting to know the specific details on this new case but added their time is best served working to break any other possible transmission that may be taking place in the affected communities.

“There is a lot of concern and rumors being spread about exempted travelers versus other travelers and we don’t want to get involved in that. We do the work needed to break transmission and that’s what we’re concentrating on right now,” said Patterson.

“We do recognize there is concern and people are legitimately wondering if there’s things that could be done differently to reduce the risk of this happening again.”

When Health finds out how it got transmitted, they will inform the public on how they will modify their procedures going forward said Patterson.

“If in the process of that we can figure out what happened and how we can modify other procedures, we will do so, and when that happens we can be as transparent as we can be.”

Travel to and from the NWT currently has not been affected and Patterson said they are not considering putting restrictions on travelers from there at this time.

Adding there have been some discussions of restrictions being put on Nummavumit by the NWT government on the other end of the travel bubble.

"Right now it’s open, we’re not considering putting restrictions on people coming from (the) Northwest Territories at this time. There is the possibility the Northwest Territories could require Nummavumit to isolate on arrival but they haven’t done so yet," Patterson said.