Here’s what you can expect when British Columbia moves to weekly COVID-19 updates

(File photo)

It’s the end of an era.

After nearly two years of daily reporting, British Columbia is taking the next steps in its COVID-19 response by moving to weekly COVID-19 reporting.

From Thursday, April 7, COVID-19 Dashboards and reports published by the BC Center for Disease Control will be updated on a weekly basis.

The data will be updated every Thursday afternoon, providing information for the last full week, covering data from Sunday to the previous Saturday.

The first report will include data for the period from March 27 to April 2.

According to the Department of Health, the new reporting approach for COVID-19 aligns with the shift from a “case management” model to a “surveillance” approach.

This approach focuses on identifying changes in COVID-19 trends over time in different regions of the province, similar to how the government monitors other serious respiratory illnesses through FluWatch.

Here are the changes you can expect when COVID-19 updates move to weekly reporting:

  • Currently, the case count includes both lab data and online testing from health authorities. Now cases will be based on an individual’s first PCR test through the Medical Services Plan (MSP)
  • Hospitalization reporting will leverage hospital occupancy data that is currently used to report “currently in hospital” and “currently in intensive care” for all hospital metrics.
  • Death reporting is evolving to rely on data from Vital Statistics, the agency that records all deaths in British Columbia. and death statistics reports reported by the BC Coroners Service
  • Previously, each death of a person with documented COVID-19 infection was reviewed to determine whether the death was actually the result of COVID-19 infection. Now, all deaths that occur within 30 days of an individual’s positive lab result will be reported, whether or not the underlying cause of death was determined to be COVID-19.
  • Mortality data will be reviewed once the cause of death is reported by vital statistics to better understand the true extent of COVID-19 related mortality. The reporting of deaths in this system is different from the previous system. A new separate death data feed will be launched while access to previous records will remain