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House parties and other gatherings blamed for Iqaluit's rise in COVID-19 cases

Last Updated May 6, 2021 at 12:14 pm MDT

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut’s chief public health officer says house parties and visits between households are to blame for a rise in COVID-19 cases in Iqaluit. 

Dr. Michael Patterson says he knows of at least three house parties in Iqaluit where COVID-19 was transmitted. 

As a result, anyone who attended a party in the last three weeks in the city is asked to call the COVID-19 hotline and get tested. 

Although gatherings are banned in the city, Patterson says public health will not report people to law enforcement who have been to a house party and call the hotline. 

Iqaluit has been under a strict lock down since April 15, with restricted travel as well as the closure of all schools and non-essential businesses.

There are 86 active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut and three people have been hospitalized in Ottawa since the first case was declared in Iqaluit on April 14. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021. 

The Canadian Press