Secrecy over B.C.’s true number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients – CTV

Sept. 22, 2021

VANCOUVER – Just how many British Columbians are actually in hospital with COVID-19 is a tightly-held secret, with few privy to the true number as health officials keep two sets of numbers: one public, the other internal.
In B.C., the health minister has said COVID-19 patients in intensive care units are removed from the tally when they’re no longer infectious with the virus. That policy is in place even though they may spend months in hospital struggling to survive their infection as they occupy scarce beds and medical resources.

CTV News has asked the Ministry of Health for the number of patients admitted to hospital for COVID-19 but not counted in the public figures, but has not received a response.

Internal documents from Vancouver Coastal Health describe the patients as “off precautions,” meaning extra steps to avoid being exposed to the virus are no longer necessary. As recently as July, the health authority was notifying a relatively wide circle of staff as to how many patients were in hospital but not part of the public hospitalization figures.

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