Nunavut imposes ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown amid COVID-19 spike

Nunavut has ordered an immediate “circuit-breaker” lockdown over rising COVID-19 cases in various communities.

The government says all indoor gatherings are banned and all non-essential businesses are to close.

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Libraries, gyms, arenas and churches must also close.

Visitors are no longer allowed in long-term care homes and elders’ facilities.

Daycares can remain open for essential workers only. And schools are to remain closed until at least Jan. 10.

The changes come one day after the territory announced tighter restrictions in Iqaluit, when a case was confirmed in a person who has not left the capital city for more than a month.

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As of Friday, there were eight active cases in Nunavut, up from three on Thursday.

Click to play video: 'Quebec and Ontario break COVID case records'

Quebec and Ontario break COVID case records

Quebec and Ontario break COVID case records

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson said there were three cases in Iqaluit, three in Pangnirtung, one in Sanirajak and one in Rankin Inlet.

“With introductions of COVID-19 in multiple communities over the past week, we must move to the strictest public health restrictions across the entire territory,” Patterson said in a news release.

“This is a circuit-breaker approach to minimize further spread to more of our communities. We need to act quickly to help trace and contain the outbreak.

“I understand this will make the holiday season harder for many, but it is necessary for the health and safety of our communities and loved ones.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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