Nunavut officials confirm cases at Iqaluit jails, medical boarding home

Positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at the Baffin Correctional Centre, the Makigarvik Correctional Centre and the Tammaativvik medical boarding home in Iqaluit as Nunavut’s chief public health officer confirmed community transmission in the territory’s capital.

There are three cases at the Makigarvik jail and one case was a new intake at the Baffin Correctional Centre (BCC).

The BCC case was the first case identified, after which testing of all inmates commenced and the three at Makigarvik were identified.

All four are now isolated in a unit in BCC. The jail had extra space because many inmates were sent to other facilities including a jail in Ontario, after a fire earlier this year required repairs to the building. 

Premier Joe Savikataaq made the announcement Friday during an update on the COVID-19 situation in the territory.

He said everyone at the boarding home is being tested, as well as staff and inmates at correctional facilities in the city. Testing of inmates is being done by nurses who work for the Department of Justice. 

Case confirmed at medical boarding home

A positive case of COVID-19 has been identified in a staff member at the Tammaativvik Boarding Home, a medical boarding home for Nunavut residents.

Anyone who was at the boarding home during the exposure period are being notified and tested for the virus.

Flights returning to other communities on Baffin Island were cancelled Thursday, after the case was identified to help limit the spread of the virus. Until people staying at the boarding home are tested, they will be required to stay at Tammaativvik. 

The boarding home houses people from all over Nunavut’s Qikiqtaaluk region who fly into the city for appointments at the territory’s only hospital. 

Savikataaq announced 11 new cases in Iqaluit in total Friday, with five people recovered.

That brings the total number of active cases in the territory to 67, with 61 of those in Iqaluit, four in Kinngait and two in Rankin Inlet.

Iqaluit resident medevaced 

An Iqaluit resident was medevac to a southern hospital after developing complications due to COVID-19. The person is in stable condition. This is Nunavut’s first hospitalization from the Iqaluit-centric outbreak. 

Dr. Michael Patterson says approximately 75 per cent of the positive cases are symptomatic. 

To date, there have been 15,856 Nunavummiut to receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine. Of those, 12,395 Nunavummiut are now fully vaccinated.