COVID-19 cases reported to public health to Jan. 5, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

COVID-19 cases reported to public health to Jan. 5, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

B.C. shifts reporting to get COVID-19 information out faster

Cases by care home to be updated weekly

The B.C. health ministry is reorganizing its reporting system for COVID-19 infections, taking information directly from labs processing the samples in a more automated system for daily updates.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the change means more rapid reporting of each 24-hour period, as case information is simultaneously sent to each of the five regional health authorities for contact tracing and tracking of infected people.

There were more than 700 cases reported Jan. 7 with the new system, an increase from recent days that is partly due to shifting the end of the 24-hour period from 10 a.m. to midnight.

The province is also beginning to report weekly updates on each care home, assisted living or independent living facility dealing with outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.

Daily reports have been compiled in each health authority, along with hospitalization and intensive care statistics, before being compiled into a province-wide report for release to media. The new system has contracted and government labs to send their daily results to the province and health authority managers at the same time.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the weekly reports will detail each of 51 current outbreaks in care homes every Thursday, including the number of infected staff and residents as well as deaths per care facility.

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