CPHO responds to cases at Aqsarniit School
Iqaluit, Nunavut – Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer today released the following statement:
“Over the weekend, we determined that two individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 were from Aqsarniit Illiniarvik in Iqaluit. These individuals were in Cohort B, and were in the school on Monday, June 7 and Wednesday, June 9. They wore masks, as per school protocol during their time in-school.
The public health team has been busy contact tracing and looking at the potential risk of spread of the virus. Working with the Department of Education, we have determined that Aqsarniit Illiniarvik can remain open on Monday, June 14 for Cohort A students. Swabs for classmates and contacts of these two cases from Cohort B will be conducted tomorrow, with results later in the day. If all the school-exposure swabs come back negative on Monday, Cohort B can return to school on Tuesday. If any of those tests come back positive on Monday, we will reassess the school opening plan for Tuesday.
At this time, the risk is deemed low for the remaining schools in Iqaluit and our recommendation is they remain open at Stage 3 and follow established protocols. We also do not anticipate any changes to child care facilities staying open.
I know this is a very uncertain time for parents, students, and staff, and I understand your worries. However, as we learn to live with COVID-19, we need to ensure a balance between lockdown and moving forward in our new normal based on the latest evidence available.
Pfizer vaccine clinics for Nunavummiut aged 12-17 start next week, and I encourage all parents and guardians to book appointments or bring their teenagers to the walk-in here in Iqaluit. The COVID-19 vaccines are a game changer and will be our way out of outbreaks moving forward. Do your part and get vaccinated.”
Department of Health