Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Nunavut is reporting two COVID-19 cases in Kinngait, Nunavut, but the territory’s chief public health officer says they’re not related to the ongoing outbreak in Iqaluit.

Until now, Iqaluit was the only one of Nunavut’s 25 communities with active cases of COVID-19.

Dr. Michael Patterson confirmed the two cases in a news release Monday night, bringing Nunavut’s active case count to 30.

Story continues below advertisement

Starting Tuesday, all travel to and from Kinngait, a community of about 1,400 on the southern tip of Baffin Island, is restricted.

Kinngait will also see the same lock down measures as Iqaluit, with indoor public gatherings banned and schools shut.

With the new cases reported in Kinngait, all communities in the Baffin region will face increased restrictions, with gatherings restricted to a household plus five people and schools moving to a blend of in-class and remote learning.

Earlier Monday, the territory confirmed six more cases in Iqaluit where an outbreak has shut down all schools, non-essential businesses and workplaces.

Nunavut’s chief public health officer said all those currently infected with COVID-19 in Iqaluit, a city of about 8,000, were adults mostly in their 20s and 30s.

Patterson declared an outbreak in the capital on Friday, two days after Iqaluit’s first case in the pandemic was reported.

Anyone who left the city on or after April 7 was asked to isolate in his or her home community for 14 days.

Story continues below advertisement

“Mandated isolation is also an important measure to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to other communities,” Patterson said.

He said that, as of Sunday, 130 contacts involving the Iqaluit cases had been identified.

He also said cases will continue to rise for the next few days as contact tracing continues in Iqaluit. Between five and 10 per cent of high-risk contacts will usually test positive for COVID-19.

But Patterson also said the number of high-risk contacts has already started to drop.

“As we catch up to the train of transmission, we’ve already seen that ... drop over the last 24, 48 hours.”

Patterson said he didn’t know if the 28 people infected in Iqaluit had been vaccinated, but added there is “no evidence of vaccine failure.”

Story continues below advertisement

The source of Iqaluit’s first COVID-19 case is also still unknown. The first case was a Canadian North airline worker who had been in the territory for over two weeks before showing symptoms. It’s possible the person contracted the virus in Iqaluit, Patterson said.

Since that first case was reported April 14, there have been 263 COVID-19 tests in Iqaluit, 235 of which were negative.

Iqaluit’s lab can process about 200 COVID tests a day, but Patterson said it’s only needing to run 70 to 80 tests right now.

To date, 14,255 people in Nunavut have received one dose of the Moderna vaccine and 10,933 are fully vaccinated. The territory is home to about 40,000 people.

Health Minister Lorne Kusugak urged Nunavut residents not to travel in or out of the territory unless it’s needed.

“Cases in many parts of the country are rising rapidly. The variants are a huge concern and question mark. Please don’t take chances unless it is necessary,” Kusugak said.

Story continues below advertisement

Samples of the positive tests have been sent to a southern lab to test for variants of concern, but results won’t be back until the end of the week.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies