- The GN COVID-19 update warns of healthcare service cuts but allows for more subdued holiday celebrations.
Premier P.J. Akeeagok will skip this year’s Christmas games, which are usually a part of his holiday tradition, to keep his bubble small in light of the “alarming” increase in Omicron-related COVID-19 cases across Canada.
“Many of us were glimpsing forward to a more normal Christmas like the one we had before the COVID-19 pandemic,” Akeeagok said during an update on the pandemic’s impact on Nunavut on Tuesday.
“I’m moving to do everything I can to keep my family and community safe.”
It was the first COVID-19 update since Akeeagok took office as premier and John Main was appointed as health minister in November. On Monday, they reported two new cases in Pangnirtung but did not specify which strain of the virus was found.
Akeeagok and Main urged Nunavummiut to continue practicing public health measures such as wearing masks, avoiding unnecessary travel, getting vaccinated, keeping social gatherings small, and avoiding contact with people at high risk of contracting the disease, such as elders.
While there are no travel restrictions in place, the Health Department may have to suspend travel in and out of communities if a case is detected, according to Dr. Michael Patterson, the territory’s chief public health officer.
Community events, such as popular Christmas games, can continue, but indoor gatherings are limited to 50% of the venue’s capacity or a maximum of 100 people.
“It’s the holiday season. “People should be known to enjoy themselves and celebrate,” Main said. “I believe it is possible to stay safe while also enjoying the season.”
When asked if a 14-day isolation period for teachers who had traveled south for the holidays would have an impact on the start of school in January, Akeeagok said, “everything is on the table.”
He acknowledged that the requirement will affect many Government of Nunavut employees, including teachers. He is working with the Ministry of Education staff to determine how the school will resume.
Source: nunatsiaq news