Nunavut gov't now adding 12 COVID-19 cases from December to January to its case count

The Nunavut government will now be counting 12 COVID-19 cases that were diagnosed out-of-territory between December and January, including three deaths, in its total case court according to a news release.

The cases, diagnosed in Manitoba, include 3 deaths

The territorial government says 12 COVID-19 cases diagnosed in its residents outside the territory will now be counted toward Nunavut's total case count. (Travis Burke/CBC)

The Nunavut government will now be counting 12 COVID-19 cases that were diagnosed out-of-territory between December and January in its total case count. 

Those cases include three deaths and were all diagnosed in Manitoba and previously attributed to that province according to a news release issued Wednesday afternoon.

CBC reported some of those cases previously, but they are only now part of the territory's official count. That includes 35-year-old Silatik Qavvik, who died in Winnipeg in January after testing positive for COVID-19 in November shortly after having a cesarean. 

The out-of-territory diagnoses bring the total number of COVID-19 cases in Nunavut to 395 and four deaths. There are just two active cases according to the government's latest numbers.

Not linked to current or past outbreaks: CPHO

In a news release, the territory says its commitment has always been to be "as transparent as possible" when it comes to its pandemic response.

"This includes proper reporting of cases by jurisdiction, as well as a duty to report in the federal data set to ensure cases are not miscounted or lost," said Nunavut's Chief Public Health Office, Dr. Michael Patterson in a statement.

"Rest assured, these are not new cases and are not linked to current or past outbreaks of COVID-19 in-territory."

The news release says attribution of COVID-19 cases of Nunavummiut outside the territory will continue on a case-by-case basis and in cooperation with public health teams in southern jurisdictions.

The government says differences in reporting processes across the country could mean delays in Nunavut's case counts online.

"As we continue to navigate the pandemic, we know there will be shifts in several areas of our response, including new ways of reporting cases," said Premier Joe Savikataaq in a statement.

"We will always do our very best to ensure the safety and well-being of Nunavummiut. Our condolences go out to all Nunavummiut who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, and you are in our hearts and thoughts."

Written by Amy Tucker