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After criticism, B.C. to provide more information about COVID-19 cases at care homes

Click to play video 'Province announce new reporting for long-term care COVID-19 cases' Province announce new reporting for long-term care COVID-19 cases
Province announce new reporting for long-term care COVID-19 cases – Jan 7, 2021

British Columbia will once again be reporting the number of COVID-19 cases at individual care homes and assisted-living facilities.

The numbers of cases by staff and residents will be provided once a week, as well as the number of people who have died in the care home due to the virus.

In the fall, the province stopped the practice of notifying the public on how many cases of the virus had been detected in each care home. Instead, the province provided the overall number of cases linked to both residents and staff at long-term care facilities.

The initial reporting from the province shows 602 residents have died from COVID-19 in assisted living and long term care.

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Questions arise about releasing data for B.C. long-term care facility Little Mountain Place – Jan 4, 2021

The province will continue to report the care homes where staff or residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in each of the provincial briefings and updates.

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Earlier this week provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province had stopped reporting individual case counts for technical reasons.

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Henry said as the number of cases in long-term outbreaks grew, health officials had to supply aggregate numbers on long-term care outbreaks on a daily basis and then periodically provide more detailed statistics.

“It’s not a policy change,” Henry said. “It was merely trying to keep up with the amount of data that we were trying to collect.”

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B.C. government questioned about lack of COVID-19 information for long-term care homes – Jan 5, 2021

The province is also making some small adjustments to the way COVID-19 cases are publicly reported overall.

Instead of reporting cases from 10 a.m. to 10 a.m. each day, the province will now be tracking from midnight to midnight. This means the province is expected to be able to get the numbers out more consistently at 3 p.m.

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The province will continue to only provide numbers during weekdays. But the Ministry of Health is keeping the door open to reporting seven days a week at some point.