The Government of Nunavut says it has explored options for separate isolation facilities for people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Nunavut. Currently the territory has 14 active cases reported in Arviat since March 04. In a news release premier Joe Savikataaq says “I know how hard you’re working & how difficult it has been. For those with COVID19 please remain isolated and stay focused on protecting your loved ones and community”.
Some community members in Arviat with active case of the corona virus have raised their concerns to their MLA John Main who represents the Arviat North riding. Main told the legislative assembly on February 26, saying he gets phone calls from people with a positive case asking for help to find a place to recover. In a statement to Main says there’s been ideas in the past but nothing official has been done “Up to now, using Arviat as an example with COVID-19, we need more secondary accommodations….That’s unfortunate. With housing, it really affects health and COVID really reminded us of that and helped us understand that more.“.
Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq says overcrowding is the cause of COVID19 in Arviat. She announced on the local radio Arviaqpaluk on February 25, she says she met with the mayor to discuss how she could support the community.
The hamlet of Arviat says it does not have authority to decide where those with a positive case for COVID19 could isolate, in an email the hamlet wrote “the office of the Chief Public Health Officer decides the plan“. It did not say if they have proposed the idea of using hotels as a location. But the spokesperson for the GN wrote in an email saying it may not work “Therefore, separate facilities for the purpose of breaking transmission are not necessarily the best course of action.“.
The government says it has to consider the risk to take it and says “it is often difficult to separate individuals that may be living in transgenerational households. Elders or seniors may require assistance from other family members or caregivers and children are not to isolate by themselves.“