MEDIA RELEASE: QIA providing support to Pond Inlet in face of first confirmed case of COVID-19
Iqaluit, Nunavut – April 30, 2020 – The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) is providing supports to the individual tested positive with COVID-19 in Pond Inlet, their family, as well as the community.
Nunavut’s Department of Health Services has dispatched a rapid response team to Pond Inlet, and will be launching a public health investigation to help those affected and to protect the community.
“Our thoughts are with the individual who has contracted COVID-19 and their family,” says QIA President, P.J. Akeeagok, “We want to make sure that this person and their immediate family receive the supports and resources they need to self-isolate at home while fighting the virus.”
QIA is working with the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., and our contacts at Arctic Co-op, to ensure the family receives delivery of necessary cleaning supplies, groceries, and other social supports needed to self-isolate.
QIA is also providing support to the community by staying in constant communication with the Government of Nunavut and the Chief Public Health Officer about developments regarding this case. Our team will also be staying in regular communication with the Mayor and Hamlet of Pond Inlet, and the Mittimatalik Hunters and Trappers Organization, to ensure that the community is receiving support.
QIA continues to encourage the Government of Canada to work with the Government of Nunavut to ensure immediate access to basic services, including essential water infrastructure required in Pond Inlet. Access to clean water is essential to keeping the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
QIA’s Emergency COVID-19 programs will continue to provide support to Pond Inlet and all other Qikiqtani communities. Qikiqtani Inuit can apply for our Emergency Harvester Initiative to social distance on-the-land, or for the Elders Grocery Voucher to gain access to household necessities for Elders.
Anyone who believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 is advised to call the Government of Nunavut’s COVID-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., or notify the community health centre, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days. Please do not go to the health centre in person.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough or difficulty breathing. The best protection from spreading or catching the virus is physical distancing, handwashing for at least 20 seconds, coughing and sneezing into an elbow and staying home as much as possible.
For more information, please contact:
Sima Sahar Zerehi
Director of Communications
Qikiqtani Inuit Association