- How we report positive cases and deaths
There is, understandably, strong public demand for information about cases of COVID-19 in the community. Health Unit staff must balance the public’s interest with each patient’s right to privacy when it comes to communicating this information to the public.
Given that we live and work in a relatively small community – itself made up of many small towns and villages – releasing demographic or location information about individuals confirmed to have contracted or died due to COVID-19 could easily violate patient privacy.
To keep the community informed, the Health Unit updates the number of lab-confirmed negative cases, lab-confirmed positive cases, recoveries and deaths online each day at 10 a.m.
Additionally, the Health Unit issues media releases (also posted online and to social media) about specific situations – for instance, an outbreak at a long-term care facility – as needed.
The Medical Officer of Health also holds weekly news conferences by phone with reporters from across the region.
Balancing the privacy rights of individuals with the community’s interest in learning more is a very difficult task, but one that Health Unit staff are strongly committed to.