As of March 17, the Government of Nunavut (GN) is reporting 12 cases of Covid-19 that were previously diagnosed in Manitoba. These new case counts will be reflected in Nunavut’s statistic reporting.
This includes three deaths of Nunavummiut that occurred between Dec. 2020 and Jan. 2021.
“The Government of Nunavut’s commitment has always been to be as transparent as possible in all aspects of its response to Covid-19,” said Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer.
“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.”
In January Patterson stated that southern deaths of Nunavummiut will be counted going forward on the GN Covid website statistics. Currently only one death that occurred in Arviat has been recorded on the department of Health’s Covid-19 dashboard.
Previously the GN position was that those cases and statistics will be reported in the respective jurisdictions where they are diagnosed in. The government of Manitoba, where the majority of medical travel appointments take place, had stated in January that deaths “would be reported by the jurisdiction of residence.”
The attribution of cases of Covid-19 acquired by residents of Nunavut outside of Nunavut will continue to occur on a case-by-case basis. Differences in reporting processes across Canada may cause delays in Nunavut’s case count online.
“Rest assured, these are not new cases and are not linked to current or past outbreaks of Covid-19 in-territory,” said Patterson.
Timely and accurate data
The GN stated they continue to strive for the timely and accurate reporting of data.
“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 Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq.
“We will always do our very best to ensure the safety and well-being of Nunavummiut who have lost loved ones to Covid-19, and you are in our hearts and thoughts.”
On March 16, Patterson said that there’s a lot of time and work involved for southern epidemiologists to do the work to change case attribution.
“Some of the cases in the south may not be able to be attributed to Nunavut for a variety of reasons,” said Patterson.
“We’re hopeful within the next few days we’ll be able to change a number of attributions for a number of cases in the south, not just cases where people have passed.”