Nunavut confirms 1st case of COVID-19!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/sanikiluaq.jpg

Nunavut’s chief public health officer has confirmed Nunavut’s first case of COVID-19, in Sanikiluaq.

Dr. Michael Patterson confirmed the case in a news release Friday.

He said contact tracing in the community is underway and the territory’s rapid response team is “on standby to help manage the situation should it become necessary.”

Residents in the community are being asked to remain at home and to avoid mingling with other residents who are not part of their household, including family members.

“It is important that health measures are followed by everyone and that we all do our part to quickly contain a potential spread in the community,” Patterson said in a statement.

All travel to and from Sanikiluaq is now restricted to cargo and emergencies. (Radio-Canada)

The territory said in the release that the affected person and their family are in isolation and doing well. All travel to and from Sanikiluaq is restricted to cargo and emergencies, the release says.

Emergency services are to remain open while grocery stores are to implement reduced hours. Shoppers must now wear a mask while in stores.

‘We’ve prepared for this,’ premier says

“Please remember that a confirmed case is not a reason to panic. We’ve prepared for this and are responding,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq in a statement. “All Nunavummiut should continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands, and stay home if you are feeling unwell.

“I wish all the best for the patient and the people of Sanikiluaq.”

The positive case does not affect the current travel bubble with the Northwest Territories and Churchill Manitoba, the release says.

Anyone who has reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 is advised to call the COVID-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. or notify their community health centre right away and immediately isolate at home for 14 days.

Residents are asked to avoid going to the health centre in person.

Officials are scheduled to provide an update at a 2:30 p.m. ET news conference. You can watch it here or on our CBC North Facebook page.