The B.C. NDP government is hiding even more data about the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May 2021, the Vancouver Sun reported on the leaked BCCDC Weekly Data Summary that included detailed infection and vaccination maps kept secret for months by officials in the Ministry of Health and B.C. Centre for Disease Control. After the scandal erupted, BCCDC began to routinely release the report.
theBreaker.news has now obtained copies of the Daily COVID-19 Report, which is produced by the Ministry of Health’s COVID Response and Health Emergency Management Division. The records from the first week of November were disclosed under the freedom of information law on a two-month delay, in early January.
The report is marked “confidential and not for distribution” in bold, red letters. While some of the data is announced regularly, much of it is not, including the number of patients battling to stay alive on mechanical ventilators.
- The Nov. 10 spreadsheet showed 88 of the 117 patients in critical care were mechanically ventilated. As of Nov. 5 at 12:30 p.m., there were 704 ventilators deployed and in service out of the 1,154 level 1 inventory. There were 364 of the 428 level 2 monitors in use;
- As of Nov. 9 at 4 p.m., there were 19 patients under active home health monitoring, for a total to date of 18,542;
- Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and East Kootenay Regional General Hospital were both at 100% occupancy as of Nov. 9 at 11:59 p.m. Royal Inland (95.2%) and Vancouver General Hospital (91.8%) were the others among the 20 COVID-designated critical care hospitals with little space to spare.
- Internal data under the heading “facility and community outbreaks” shows long-term care, assisted living and independent living outbreaks for residents and staff, including cases and deaths. There is also a column for “students,” suggesting the same method is used to tabulate school outbreaks when those happen.
- The stats through Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. said 10 staff and eight residents at Amica Lions Gate comprised the worst outbreak in the province; two residents died;
Lab testing as of Nov. 9 at 11:59 p.m. showed 15,230 completed tests (of a capacity 21,186) with 552 positive. The rest were deemed “non-positive,” which means negative, indeterminate and invalid results. There were 5,286 lab samples pending, with a median 18.5-hour turnaround time.
- As of Nov. 9 at 11:59 p.m., 6,022 tests had been collected at testing sites, of a 7,483 capacity.
An outspoken advocate for transparency said the public needs as much information as quickly as possible during the pandemic, in order to make the right decisions to stay safe and healthy.
“Giving people the power to see for themselves, the raw data, could be very helpful during a time of crisis, and during this particular crisis,” said University of Victoria journalism professor Sean Holman in a February 2021 interview.
The costs of not providing information are severe in the post-truth era, said Holman, who is the Wayne Crookes Professor in Environmental and Climate Journalism. Information gaps are often filled with misinformation and disinformation, which inevitably fuel protests against vaccines and masks, Holman said.
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