First case of COVID-19 confirmed in Iqaluit as city locks down

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut has confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Iqaluit, the territory’s largest community. 

Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says the person is isolating and doing well but did not say whether the person had travelled. 

Patterson says contact tracing has started in the community of about 8,000 and his team is working to identify high-risk contacts.

As of 7 a.m. Thursday, all non-essential businesses, government offices and schools in Iqaluit must close and indoor gatherings are limited to a household plus five people. 

Patterson says businesses and schools in all other communities in the Baffin Island region can stay open with strict social distancing. 

The case in Iqaluit is the only active case of COVID-19 in the territory and over 3,400 Iqaluit residents have received one dose of the Moderna vaccine.

“I ask all Iqalummiut to remain calm and maintain strict adherence to the public health measures in place,” Premier Joe Savikataaq said in a news release late Wednesday.

“Now is the time to stay home as much as possible and do our part to slow any potential spread. Stay safe.” 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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