Nunavut announced 34 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of Nunavut cases to 60 as the NWT shut down the travel bubble between the territories.
All of the individuals who tested positive are in isolation and doing well, the Government of Nunavut said in a news release. The majority of cases are in the community of Arviat, on the west coast of Hudson Bay.
Eight new cases in Whale Cove are connected to those in Arviat, the Nunavut government said. While community spread has been found in Arviat, there is no indication of community spread in Whale Cove. Contact tracing and testing is ongoing in all affected communities.
There are currently 46 cases in Arviat, four in Rankin Inlet, and two in Sanikiluaq.
“Anyone who has travelled from or through Arviat since November 2 must immediately isolate for 14 days,” said Nunavut. “Individual actions can impact everyone’s health.”
Nunavut’s case count has risen sharply in recent days and a territory-wide two-week lockdown is due to begin on Wednesday, closing down schools and non-essential businesses with residents asked to avoid all but essential travel.
Nunavut had no confirmed Covid-19 cases when November began. Arviat’s first case was confirmed on November 13. On November 14 another four cases were identified and, on November 15, an additional 10 people tested positive.
A travel bubble between the NWT and Nunavut had existed since June, allowing residents of the two territories to travel freely back and forth without isolating.
As of noon on Tuesday, that bubble closed. The NWT government now asks all travellers coming from Nunavut to isolate for two weeks under the same rules as those arriving from other parts of Canada.
Anyone in the NWT who has been in Arviat, Rankin Inlet, or Sanikiluaq in the past 14 days must self-isolate immediately.
NWT residents currently can still travel to Nunavut without isolating if granted permission by Nunavut’s chief public health officer.
The NWT had 15 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of 12pm on Tuesday, of which five – in one Fort Smith household – remain active.
Yukon has confirmed 24 cases to date.