Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq called on residents to “plank these numbers and do what we need to do” as the territory reached 70 cases of COVID-19 and began a two-week lockdown on Wednesday.
“Our rise in cases over the past few days is significant, and seems scary,” Savikataaq said, but “we did know they would rise once it is in the territory.”
“This is it, folks — it’s time to take a stand and fight against COVID-19.”
The update came during a news conference after a major surge in coronavirus cases this week. Eight of the new cases have been identified in Arviat, bringing the community’s number of positive cases to 54. The other two cases are in Rankin Inlet, where the community’s number of positive cases is now six.
All individuals are in isolation and doing well, according to a press release.
Some health-care workers have also been asked to self-isolate, said Dr. Michael Patterson, chief public health officer, during the news conference.
“In Arviat, it’s too soon to say if we’ve stopped community transmission at this point,” he said.
“In other communities we’re closer … to having it stabilized and contained.”