Nunavut confirms its first case of COVID-19

“There is no need to panic. Nunavut has had time to prepare, and we are in a solid position to manage this."

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Nunavut has its first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the community of Pond Inlet, the Government of Nunavut announced on Thursday, April 30. (Nunatsiaq News file photo)

Nunavut has its first case of COVID-19, the territory’s chief public health officer said in a news release issued this morning.

The first case has been confirmed in the north Baffin community of Pond Inlet.

“We did anticipate that it was only a matter of time before our territory had a confirmed case, and unfortunately today is that day,” said Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, in the release.

“We have initiated contact tracing in the community and our rapid response team is on its way to Pond Inlet, to provide care and ensure the community has all necessary supports to help manage the situation.”

The individual is in isolation and doing well, the release said.

All travel to and from Pond Inlet is now restricted, with the exception of cargo and emergency travel. This includes travel by land, the release said.

“There is no need to panic. Nunavut has had time to prepare, and we are in a solid position to manage this. We ask people not to place any blame, not to shame and to support communities and each other as we overcome COVID-19 in Nunavut,” Premier Joe Savikataaq said in the release.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

“Anyone who has reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 is advised to call the COVID-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., or notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days. Please do not go to the health centre in person,” the release said.