Passengers isolated at Iqaluit airport after medical traveller tests positive for COVID-19

The government of Nunavut has confirmed a medical travel patient, who flew back from Ottawa Wednesday, tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson said the person had taken a COVID-19 test on Jan. 18, which came back positive only after the flight had already taken off.

Patterson said the risk of transmission is “very low.”

The patient was on an “expedited medical travel,” a program which allows Nunavummiut to fly South for medical appointments and return to the territory without completing the usually required 14-day hotel isolation.

The individual was taken to Qikiqtani General Hospital and isolated, where a follow-up test will be administered to rule out the possibility of a false positive.

Patterson said those results are expected Wednesday afternoon.

The other passengers on Canadian North flight FAB101 have been isolated on the secure side of the Iqaluit airport until the test results are confirmed.

There are no other active cases in the territory. If confirmed, this would be the first case in Iqaluit. 

The government of Nunavut got positive COVID-19 test results for a passenger onboard Canadian North flight FAB101 from Ottawa to Iqaluit after the flight took off. (Matisse Harvey/Radio-Canada)

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