Canadian Community Declares State of Emergency

Churches of Arviat, Nunavut, Canada. (Photo: Ansgar Walk/Wikimedia Commons)
The hamlet Arviat, Canada has declared a local state of emergency amid a rising wave of COVID-19 cases. (Photo: Churches of Arviat, Nunavut, Canada. Ansgar Walk/Wikimedia Commons)
The Canadian hamlet Arviat has seen 86 cases of COVID-19 since 22 January.

The hamlet of Arviat, Nunavut in Canada, is declaring a local state of emergency amid a rising wave of COVID-19 cases months after it seemed the community had eradicated the disease, CBC News reports.

Health authorities have recorded 86 cases of COVID-19 since 22 January, when a second wave of diagnoses began.

The state of emergency starts Wednesday. Arviat Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr. announced the move on a local radio station Tuesday afternoon, following a vote by the local council earlier that morning.

Under the state of emergency, the community will have a strict curfew beginning at 10 p.m. and ending at 6 a.m. each day. Hunters and those with shifts outside regular hours will still be allowed to leave their homes during these hours.

The hamlet has doubled its bylaw staff, who will now be patrolling 24 hours a day. Businesses will be provided with personal protective equipment to minimize the risk of spreading the disease.

People breaking curfew will be reported to the RCMP for violating public health orders. Anyone needing help getting supplies is asked to call the hamlet.

Spokespersons for the government of Nunavut told CBC they are aware of the state of emergency and supporting the hamlet. The declaration will expire in seven days if it is not renewed by officials.

Arviat is one of the most southern and accessible Inuit communities in Nunavut, Canada. Arviat is located on the western shores of Hudson Bay, approximately 200km north of Churchill, Manitoba.

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