Key public health decisions made in N.B. in February informed partly by false death counts – CBC

Missing records made health officials believe COVID deaths in New Brunswick were falling instead of rising

Oct 20, 2022

Dozens of missing COVID-19 death records revealed by the New Brunswick government last week caused health officials to mislead themselves about when fatalities from last winter’s Omicron wave had peaked just as they were faced with critical decisions about when to loosen health protections.

On Friday at a hastily scheduled briefing, New Brunswick’s lead epidemiologist Mathieu Chalifoux revealed the discovery of 142 previously missed “death forms” that listed COVID-19 as a primary killer of 125 people that were previously not counted as victims of COVID-19.

The forms also revealed the virus was noted as being present at the time of death in 17 others.

“Counts during the Omicron wave did not accurately reflect.the situation as it unfolded,” said Chalifoux on Friday

The missing deaths spanned six months between December 2021 and May 2022 as the first wave of the COVID-19 Omicron variant was hitting the province.

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