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The centre of Nunavut’s COVID-19 outbreak is now facing a second outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Last week, Arviat, a community of about 2,800, reported its first new case since Dec. 28.

With cases spiking over the weekend, the community, which had been COVID-free since Jan. 2, now has 17 active cases of COVID-19.

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Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says the new cluster of cases involve several households and all infected people are asymptomatic.

Patterson says there’s no evidence the infection came from outside Arviat, but he also can’t confirm the new cases are connected to the original outbreak.

So far, 69 per cent of Arviat’s eligible adult population has received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

All travel to and from Arviat is restricted and the community is in full lockdown to prevent further spread.

There have been 280 cases in the territory since the start of the pandemic.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

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