Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel

B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

With daily case counts continuing high in B.C., public health officials are working to automate their reporting of COVID-19 to improve accuracy and efficiency, giving experts more time to analyze results rather than count them.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the rolling seven-day average of infections is more useful to determine what is happening, with a “levelling off” of new infections over the weekend but still almost 600 recorded between Sunday and Monday. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s situation reports each Friday and its seven-day rolling average of test positivity reflect that, she said.

“We know where the issues are, and we know that’s reflected in the numbers and the analysis that we put out in the Friday bulletin,” Henry said Nov. 30. “I’ve heard issues around people travelling, whether it’s for work or also recreational travel, and bringing the virus back with them – things that we should not be doing right now. We know that it is associated with gatherings, even small gatherings where people are coming together and thinking it’s OK.”

RELATED: B.C. records 43 deaths in deadliest weekend of pandemic

RELATED: Victoria partiers hide in closets trying to avoid fines

There have also been data reporting errors, particularly as the Fraser Health region has dealt with most of the new infections in B.C. On Monday Henry said totals have been adjusted by adding an additional 277 historical cases that were not previously included.

“Today for example we did a revision and added the additional cases that had not made it into the daily list, even though each of those cases had been notified and public health is following up on them,” Henry said. “In the coming days, we will be switching our systems to automate some of the functions to make it easier, so that we’re not spending our time focusing on adding the numbers and being able to reconcile databases, and we’re able to use the work of the epidemiologists to understand more fully the contacts and the cases and the outbreaks and clusters in the community.

“These daily numbers are important, we recognize that, but it is a snapshot. What we need to track is the trends, are we going up, are we going down, are we levelling off?”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long term care home over Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place care home declared over

‘This has been one of our most challenging outbreaks so far,’ says chief medical health officer

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

The bus shelter across from the police detachment is one of ten smashed Jan. 17. (Monique Tamminga)
Glass smashed out of 10 bus shelters in Penticton

One of the bus shelters is right across from the RCMP detachment

This is the location, 3240 Skaha Lake Road, of where BC Housing plans to build a four storey supportive housing project for the homeless and at risk of being homeless. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton mayor and MLA concerned about new homeless housing

BC Housing is holding a virtual info meeting Tuesday evening, Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun in Salmon Arm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccinations underway in Salmon Arm

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun

Hillview Elementary students Emma Li and Mina Nadeau were awarded by the Premier’s office for winning the annual holiday card contest. (Karen Rogers photo)
North Okanagan students’ art featured on Premier’s cards

Hillview youth chosen for annual holiday card contest

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

This dog is going to the SPCA if its owner isn't found. (RDNO Dog Control photo)
Owners sought after dog ‘dumped’ near North Okanagan school

Pup is now either getting adopted or going to the SPCA

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Most Read