16 beds designated for COVID-19 in Kuujjuaq as total number of active cases in Nunavik, Quebec stands at 259 – Eye on the Arctic


The Nunavik community of Akulivik. The community was put on red alert over the weekend after three people tested positive but had not traveled recently, suggesting community transmission. (Eye on the Arctic)

The Nunavik Regional Health Authority, the Inuit region of Arctic Quebec, reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total active cases in the region to 259.

“The COVID-19 situation in Nunavik is serious,” the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS) said in a Facebook post on Monday. “It’s worse than ever compared to all of Quebec since the start of the pandemic. “

The situation in Nunavik has remained worrying since the start of the current epidemic on October 7.

Before that there was no community transmission in the region since March 2020.

In order to increase the region’s response, the Régie is setting up 16 beds in a facility in Kuujjuaq specifically to treat COVID-19. When operational, the space will include specialized medical equipment as well as special ventilation.

The NRBHSS said the initiative will allow medical staff to provide specialized care to COVID-19 patients while protecting other patients and minimizing the impact on other health services.

“Due to the situation the region is currently facing, the increasing number of cases and the dominance of the Delta variant (highly contagious and at high risk of being seriously ill), the NRBHSS is doing everything in its power to cope. situation and act accordingly: Ajapirvik is one of the many measures taken by the NRBHSS and the Health Network to remedy the current situation, ”said the NRBHSS in a comment emailed to Eye on the Arctic on Monday .

When fully implemented, there will be six intensive care rooms and 10 stretchers for COVID-19 patients under observation and in need of care.

Majority of COVID-19 cases among the unvaccinated

The situation in Nunavik is particularly worrying for the health authorities given the region’s extremely low vaccination coverage.

The most recent figures released at the end of October showed that only 45% of the total population of around 13,000 people had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Fifty-nine percent of the eligible population has been fully immunized.

Rates also vary widely from community to community with communities like Kuujjuaraapik has 68 percent of its total population fully vaccinated and 84 percent of people over 12 have received two doses.

Meanwhile, communities like Salluit and Akulivik had only 31 percent of their total population vaccinated, with 42 percent and 44 percent, respectively, of their population over 12 having received two doses.

Number of cases reported in Nunavik as of Monday, November 8

“The COVID-19 situation in Nunavik is serious,” the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services said in a Facebook post on Monday. “It’s worse than ever compared to all of Quebec since the start of the pandemic. »(Eilís Quinn / Eye on the Arctic)

The most recent counts of community cases in Nunavik are:

    • Salluit – 198 active cases
    • Kangirsuk – 29 active cases
    • Kuujjuaq – 18 active cases
    • Ivujivik – 5 active cases
    • Akulivik – 5 active cases
    • Kangiqsujuaq – 4 active cases

-Source: Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services

On Sunday, the NRBHSS renewed its calls to residents of Nunavik to be vaccinated.

“When an infected person comes into contact with insufficiently protected people, the infection spreads from person to person more easily and quickly, due to a lack of protection and this increases and increases over time. “said the NRBHSS.

“When the vast majority of individuals in a community are fully protected, the risk of transmission from an infected person to other individuals is low and remains controlled over time.”

According to the most recent data from the NRBHSS, between October 6, when the epidemic began, and November 4, 80% of the 355 cases of COVID-19 in the region were among the unvaccinated.

Twenty percent of COVID-19 cases have occurred in people who had received two injections of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Seven people were hospitalized and 5 patients had to be sent for medical treatment in southern Quebec.

Flights between the Ungava coast of Nunavik, where the majority of active COVID-19 cases are found, and the Hudsonian coast of Nunavik remain suspended until further notice.

Fourth community on red alert

On Saturday, the Hudson’s Bay community of Akulivik was put on red alert after three people tested positive but had not traveled recently, suggesting community transmission.

Four of the fourteen communities in Nunavik are now on red alert, the highest level of COVID-19 in the region. (Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services)

The red alert means that a community is blocked until further notice, non-essential services have been closed and visits between people living in different households are prohibited.

The other three communities on red alert are Salluit, Kangirsuk and Kuujjuaq.

The ten other Nunavik communities remain on orange alert until November 17.

The orange alert level means that no gatherings of more than 10 people are allowed, that no gatherings are allowed bringing together people from different communities and that only essential movements are allowed.

To date, there have been 183 recoveries in the region since October 7.

UPDATE

This text has been updated with comments and details on the 16 new beds set up in Nunavik by the health authorities.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn (at) cbc.ca

Stories related across the poles:

Antarctic: UK delivers COVID-19 vaccine to UK station in Antarctica, Eye on the Arctic

Canada: Immunization coverage in Nunavik, Quebec increases to 45% of the population, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Greenland lifts COVID-19 restrictions on direct travel to small communities, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Iceland to relax COVID-19 rules on October 20, plans to fully lift restrictions next month, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Tromso, Norway to reimpose restrictions as COVID-19 cases soar, Eye on the Arctic

United States: Rural Alaska in danger as COVID-19 outbreak floods distant hospitals, The Associated Press

United States: Rural Alaska in danger as COVID-19 outbreak floods distant hospitals, The Associated Press


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