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Changes to local public health COVID-19 reporting

UPDATE: The dashboard was updated to 206 new high-risk cases, for a total of active high risk cases of 1,166.

In response to changes in provincial testing eligibility for COVID-19, Hasting Prince Edward Public Health has changed its dashboard reporting method – no longer including such break-downs as locations, age groups and vaccination status; and focusing on hospitalizations as the recording of high-risk cases only represents a segment of the population.

Today, HPEPH is reporting one more death related to COVID-19. There are 29 people are in hospital, eight in intensive care. The 116 high-risk cases and 1,258 high risk active cases numbers were not changed from Friday’s report. There are 20 high-risk outbreaks listed – one more than Friday’s report. Going forward, the COVID-19 dashboard is to be updated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

The changes to the dashboard reporting were announced today, in response to government changes in COVID-19 testing eligibility for publicly-funded Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing to individuals who work in, or attend, highest risk settings.

“This change came into effect on Dec. 31, 2021 and as a result, positive cases confirmed by PCR testing will underestimate the true number of individuals with COVID-19 in the community.” states HPEPH in a media release. “To address this, local public health agencies are changing how COVID-19 cases are reported in their regions.”

Changes that have been made to the dashboards include:
– Reporting of cases limited to ‘high-risk cases’, and only active and new cases.
– Discontinued reporting any variants of concern (as Omicron is the dominant variant, and only a small number of PCR tests will be screened for Omicron).
– Discontinued reporting of cases by age, source of acquisition, geography, and status of vaccinations, as high-risk cases only represent a segment of the population.
– Discontinued reporting cases per 100,000 as case rates no longer reflect the rate of the whole population.
– A new graph that depicts hospitalizations over time.
Differentiating between data from before and after the change in testing eligibility on all existing graphs for testing and cases over time, as the time periods are not comparable.
– Reporting of new outbreaks is limited to high-risk settings such as long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and congregate living settings.
Addition of third dose vaccine coverage to the vaccinations page.

Hospitalizations related to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 are reaching record highs with Ontario health officials reporting about 1,467 people in hospital, up from 1,232 a week ago. There are 438 people in intensive care, 234 reported to be breathing with a ventilator. The last time the province recorded this many patients in intensive care was in June 2021.


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  1. Dee says:

    Eliminating the schools from the equation is a serious exclusion that has enormous consequences. I have been advised that cases of COVID in schools are no longer being reported to parents of children who have high risk exposure. Everyone is expected to monitor their health and self isolate if they feel they “might” have covid sympotons…many of which are the same as the common cold or flu. Self Diagnosis is the prescribed fail safe.

    We are told that children do not experience as severe symptoms as older individuals, yet they have ignored the long term iffects that covid has on youth. Does this make it okay to throw our children under the preverbial bus today, and hope that no one remembers when they begin showing health issues as they get older, ones that were initiated by COVID?

    How is it not important to track ages and breakthrough cases….this has a direct impact on how one assesses what they do and where they go. If booster vaxxed resudebts have voluntarily placed themeslves in Stage 1 – only going to grocery stores for essentials – and outbreaks are happening in those stores – the public should know.

    This all boils down to no one wants to be accountable to the public. The less we know the better off we are? Unacceptable.

    FOrd Government should put back funding he has taken from Public Health, and take some responsibility for their mis steps and lack of initiative in protecting the public.

    Ask where is the PPE for the schools/ N95 masks are only good for 8 hours and then they act like sponges…..have teachers been provided with enough N95s to get them through the first week. teachers have been told they can reuse the masks. Children under 5 – cannot be protected by vazzine – yet a parent cannot make an informed decision as to whether to send their child to school becusse there is not data regarding cases in school locations.

    So is a child, a teacher or a senior citizen’s life more important? I have to ask who made the premiere and PH God/

  2. JennyD says:

    I can only wonder what it must be like to sit at home, in a safe place, fully vaxxed, and complain about the right to information. Have you forgotten the essential service workers who are going to work every day and didn’t get the “priority” that many others received? I too worry each and every day, and struggled to understand why those who didn’t need to leave their home had priority over me to get vaxxed. Please stop complaining. Covid is here to stay, so let’s move on and find coping strategies instead the constant complaining and blaming. There are people out there risking their lives to keep you at home preparing your grocery lists etc. The numbers are unreliable and the government dropped the ball – again. I leave you with this – would we be having the same discussion if public health tracked the flu virus in previous years? What would those numbers look like. Don’t get baited by fear mongering – so much media has resorted to click bait, it has us turning on each other.

  3. Emily says:

    The Publicc Health change on the dashboard is understandable. Omicron is so wide spread why waste time and resources on basicilaly usesless data.Like someone said, Area numbers mean nothing.

  4. Administrator says:

    Hedy – Clinic information continues in the coming events section on the homepage and was just updated.

  5. HEDY says:

    Exactly, S.R. The health system has abandoned us, with no info at all. That chart of blue & red graph is a joke! It doesn’t even have dates. Does it even change from week to week, or is it simply a static meaningless picture?
    And where is the information about upcoming clinics for vaccines?
    And guess what – all the opening up for gatherings, etc. by govt. was contrary to protecting the public. I’m in shock as to how the whole thing leaves all of us in the dark. Hunker down, folks.

  6. Susan Rose says:

    Absolutely Doug Murphy. In all this where are my rights to protect myself from those infected, from those who won’t get vaccinated?? Be safe everyone

  7. Bruce Nicholson says:

    This pandemic has taught us that we cannot let down our guard at any time. Take the necessary precautions as set out by our health unit. That is all we can do.

  8. Chuck says:

    I believe one must assume Omicron is everywhere now. County is no safer than Belleville. If we have 20 new cases and Belleville has 40, whats the difference per capita.

  9. douglas murphy says:

    The public should know who is infected and where the infections are as to avoid those situations and people.

  10. w says:

    I couldn’t agree more, SM. at the age of 84, I want to know where these cases are occurring. Pretty well housebound (by choice) now, I want to know where it is safe to shop for groceries, for example — pretty well the only reason I venture out these days, except for walks or drives in the country.

  11. SM says:

    They have taken away what was the only real useful information. I want to know where cases are taking place. I want to know in what age groups. As a senior, in the so called high risk category I try to order my life in such a way as to avoid as much risk as possible. One may argue that because of the change in testing, those numbers don’t mean anything anymore, but even as an imperfect guideline they assist me in my life.

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