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COVID-19 cases climb in Iqaluit's young population, hotel being used for isolation

Last Updated May 4, 2021 at 1:24 pm EDT

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Hannah A. Bullock, Azaibi Tamin/CDC via AP

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut’s chief public health officer says COVID-19 cases are climbing in the city’s young population and an Iqaluit hotel is being used for an isolation centre.

On the weekend, Iqaluit’s only low barrier shelter, where people can stay if they’re intoxicated, closed after all of its staff went into isolation for COVID-19 — with one staff member testing positive. 

Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says there are 31 people staying at the Aqsarniit Hotel and Conference Centre.

He says some of those people are isolating for COVID-19 and others are staying there because they have nowhere else to go. 

Patterson says, as of Monday, 23 of the territory’s 85 active cases are in people under the age of 18.

He says a second person had to be medevaced out of the community for health care.

Patterson says there are also eight cases of COVID-19 at Iqaluit’s Baffin Correctional Facility.

The Canadian Press