COVID-19 testing began Thursday and will continue Friday in the small Labrador coastal community of Makkovik, the Nunatsiavut government says, as part of the public health response to a presumptive positive case of the virus in the Inuit town.
Anyone can get a test, even if they have not travelled and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, officials said.
„Today and tomorrow will be very busy, hard days,” Gerald Asivak, the minister of health and social development, told CBC Radio’s Labrador Morning on Thursday. „We’re going to ensure that we meet our standards, with the province, Dr. Fitzgerald, around what needs to be done,” he said, referring to Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer of health.
In winter, Makkovik — with a population of 400 or so — is accessible only by air or snowmobile. As the COVID-19 response has ramped up, the community has been effectively cut off from the outside world, with all regular flights in and out suspended, save for medical emergencies. As a result, even just a few cases would be of great concern.
„If you have to go to St. John’s for medical reasons, it’s a pretty serious situation for a person’s health. So I’m just urging people to show compassion for the individual in question here,” said Barry Andersen, the mayor of the small community.
On a positive note, the transmission potential could be lessened in light of the fact that 74 per cent of eligible adults in Makkovik have been vaccinated for COVID-19, receiving both doses of the Moderna vaccine.