Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, has confirmed the territory’s first case of COVID-19.
The infection has been confirmed in the Sanikiluaq, a community located on the north coast of Flaherty Island in Hudson Bay.
“We have initiated contact tracing in the community and our rapid response team is on standby to help manage the situation should it become necessary,” said Patterson. “We ask residents of Sanikiluaq to remain at home at this time and limit contact with other residents including family members not residing in the same household.”
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Patterson said it’s important that health measures are followed by everyone and that citizens “do their part” to quickly contain a potential spread of the virus within Sanikiluaq, a town of 850 residents.
According to the territory’s news release, the infected individual is “doing well” and is in isolation.
All travel to and from Sanikiluaq has been restricted with the exceptions of cargo and emergency travel.
Only emergency services will remain open and grocery stores have implemented reduced hours. Shoppers are required to wear face masks or coverings while inside stores and shops.
“Please remember that a confirmed case is not a reason to panic. We’ve prepared for this and are responding. All Nunavummiut should continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands, and stay home if you are feeling unwell,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq. “I wish all the best for the patient and the people of Sanikiluaq.”
Residents who have reason to believe they could have been exposed to the virus are being advised to call the territory’s coronavirus hotline or notify their community health centre but not in person.