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Start of the school year in Nunavik and measures that apply to school board employees traveling to Nunavik for work purposes

Press Release

As of July 22, 2020, Nunavik is COVID-19 free. However, the situation and applicable public health guidelines may evolve rapidly.

With the objective of reducing to a maximum the risks of spreading the COVID-19 infection to Nunavik, the school board has planned a gradual start of the school year in the youth and adult sectors that will be spread over 4 weeks.

The reopening of schools and adult education centres entails the movement of an important number of employees. Over the past weeks, Kativik Ilisarniliriniq has planned these operations carefully with the goal of ensuring the protection of Nunavimmiut.

The school board is requiring all its employees traveling to Nunavik to quarantine upon arrival in the community where they will be working. For the start of the school year, the arrival of employees in Nunavik has been spread out over 4 weeks. The travel dates have been adjusted to accommodate the pre-departure COVID-19 test measures announced by the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services on July 17, 2020.

Dates for the start of the school year in Nunavik

The reopening of schools and adult education centres, schedules and size of classes has been planned by each school and centre taking into consideration their local realities, building, number of students and directives from the:

  • Nunavik authorities
  • Quebec Ministry of Education (MEES)
  • Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).

Communications from the school board will follow in August, detailing the specific health and safety measures that will apply at schools and adult education centres.

In this context, the start of the school year in the youth sector will follow this calendar:

  • Schools will open gradually to students starting on August 31 until September 14.
  • The grade levels reopening first will vary from school to school, depending on how each school planned the arrival of its teachers.
  • Parents have to listen to the local FM radio and check their school’s Facebook page for information on which grade starts when and what type of schedule will apply.
  • By September 14 all grades in the youth sector will have started the school year.
  • Note that due to school renovation currently in progress, the start of the school year will be delayed in the communities of Quaqtaq, Kangiqsujuaq and Salluit (Ikusik School). Interim solutions are currently being developed for students in these communities.

In the adult sector, the start of the school year will follow this calendar:

  • Adult Education Centers and Residences will open gradually to students starting on August 31.
  • Students enrolled in a program offered by their local adult education centre communities will be informed of the exact start date of their courses by August 24.
  • Students enrolled in a program offered by an adult education centre from another community will informed of their courses start date prior to traveling from their home village.

Health and safety measures that apply to Kativik Ilisarniliriniq employees traveling to Nunavik

Here is a summary of measures that apply to employees of the school board traveling to Nunavik for work purposes as of July 22, 2020:

  • With the objective of reducing to a maximum the risks of spreading the COVID-19 infection to Nunavik, the school board has planned a start of the school year in the youth and adult sectors that will be spread out over 4 weeks.
  • Each week during the month of August, a small group of employees will arrive in Nunavik communities.
  • There will be 4 groups in total, arriving between August 1 and August 29, 2020.
  • On a weekly basis during August, there will be an average of 8 individuals (employees, spouse and relatives) at a time arriving in each of the 14 Nunavik communities. In the three larger Nunavik communities some of these group may reach up to 25 individuals.
  • In order to be authorized by the school board to travel, and until further notice, all employees of the school board are requested to comply with the public health measures detailed below.

Pre-departure COVID-19 test and negative test result

  • The school board is organizing pre-departure testing for all its employees and their dependants (spouse and children).
  • After being tested for COVID-19, employees will be lodged by the school board at facilities where they will quarantine until they receive their test result.
  • Employees must have tested negative for COVID-19 in order to be authorized to board the plane. The COVID-19 test must be conducted 96-hours or less prior to departure.

Travel to Nunavik

  • Wearing a facemask at all time during travel to Nunavik is mandatory, including for example in taxi, car, truck or bus, at the airport(s), on the plane and during transit to the assigned Nunavik residence.

Arrival in Nunavik communities

  • Safety measures will be in place to avoid unprotected contacts with members of the community upon arrival and transit to staff residences.

14-day quarantine

  • A 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Nunavik is mandatory for all employees of the school board. At the moment, the school board does not endorse the option of pre-departure quarantine for any of its employees, nor does it endorse a quarantine period split between Nunavik and locations outside Nunavik.
  • During quarantine, employees must stay home at all time.
  • During quarantine employees are only allowed to go outdoors to take health walks. During these walks, they can only be accompanied by family members that are quarantined with them. Contacts with members of the community are forbidden at all time. The school board strongly suggests that you wear a facemask during your health walks, so as to send a clear message to local residents. Social distancing is mandatory at all time during health walks (2 meters).

After quarantine while living in the community

  • Employees must wear a facemask in all indoor public places. Since July 18, 2020, wearing a facemask in all indoor public spaces is mandatory in Quebec. This applies in Nunavik.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 causes respiratory infections with symptoms of fever, cough and breathing difficulties. Kativik Ilisarniliriniq takes the situation linked to this disease very seriously. Government authorities, including the Direction de santé publique and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services are providing the school board with all the advice and directives to deal with this virus.

Infection prevention reminder

Every individual has their part to play to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

The health recommendations below are provided by the Quebec government.

Get provincial public health updates here.

Get Nunavik public health updates here.

IHT5