An official in Nunavut reported the territory’s first COVID-19 case Thursday, meaning coronavirus has now spread to all Canadian provinces and territories.
The patient lives in Pond Inlet, a remote community on Baffin Island, according to a government news release. All non-emergency travel to and from the community is now restricted, including by private vehicle. The only exception is for food and supplies coming in.
“No one wants this virus,” Premier Joe Savikataaq said. “No one brought this virus to Nunavut on purpose. No one deserves shame or blame at this time.”
He went on to say the entire world is experiencing uncertainty and fear during the global pandemic, and Nunavut is no exception.
Until now, Nunavut was the last remaining Canadian province or territory without any confirmed coronavirus cases. The northern region has limited healthcare resources compared to Canada’s urban centres, so many are worried a coronavirus outbreak could be hard to deal with.
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The confirmed patient is in isolation at home, and public health workers are doing contact tracing, officials say.
“We did anticipate that it was only a matter of time before our territory had a confirmed case, and unfortunately today is that day,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson said.
Officials did not say how the person caught the virus.