Nunavut lockdown extended as COVID-19 infections increase

IQALUIT, NUNAVUT – Nunavut is extending its “circuit breaker” lockdown as a surge in COVID-19 infections pushes the territory’s healthcare system to a breaking point.

The territory’s director of public health, Dr Michael Patterson, said the province now has 74 cases in eight communities after going zero on December 21.

Premier PJ Akeeagok said the indoor gathering ban introduced before Christmas is being extended to January 17 due to the increased number of cases of the Omicron variant.

Libraries, gyms, arenas and churches are also closed, and restaurants are restricted to serving takeout only.

Patterson said testing and contact tracing is putting a strain on Nunavut’s healthcare system and its employees.

He said he was also concerned about increased cases in the coming weeks as people return to the territory from the south after the holiday season.

This Canadian Press report was first published on December 29, 2021.


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