Since the number of new COVID cases have surged in the second wave, watchers have noticed increasing reliability issues with the daily numbers being released for instance, Hamilton Public Health has reported 65 new cases of COVID 19 some of which pertain to the previous day when only 2 new cases were reported, There are four new outbreaks One at Echo Day Program where two persons tested positive. La Garderie Le Petit Navire Day care reported three staff members testing positive, the Good Shepherds Mens Centre had one staff affected and the Village at Wentworth Heights reported one resident testing positive. The number of residents testing positive at the Chartwell Willowgrove Long Term Care is up to 26 residents and 20 staff. Hospitalizations in Hamilton rose by two to six.
We have noticed discrepancies between the numbers reported by Ontario Public Health and Local Public health offices. The Halton Public Health Officer offered a statement to explain the numbers.
• The number of cases reported for Halton residents has been fluctuating daily, likely due to variation in the number of tests conducted, processed, and reported by labs to public health units each day.
• On November 3, Ontario reported that Halton had experienced 86 new cases on November 2, because Ontario extracts data from the provincial CCM database at 1 PM each day, then reports the data publicly the following morning. When Ontario reported 86 new cases for Halton, they meant that between 1 PM on November 1 and 1 PM on November 2, there was a net increase of 86 cases among Halton residents within the database. Some of the cases in the net change of 86 were duplicates that had been entered into the database automatically through laboratory test result data dumps taking place shortly before 1 PM, leading to an inflated count for Halton in Ontario’s reporting.
• Halton extracts data from the CCM database first thing in the morning everyday, to reflect cases entered into the system by 11:59 PM the previous night. This means that the data reported on halton.ca are more recent than the data released by the province, and refer to a different period of time than the provincial updates, which is why the counts are so often discrepant between Ontario’s reporting and Halton’s reporting. Due to this difference in timing, Halton was able to reconcile the duplicates and obtain an accurate case count for November 2 before reporting on November 3. The halton.ca dashboard showed 56 new cases reported on November 2, part of a net increase of 67 (due to several additional cases added into the database from previous days).
• Visit Halton Region Public Health’s dashboard on halton.ca/COVID19 for accurate data (up to 11:59 PM the previous day), published daily between 12 and 2 PM. It is important to recognize that both Halton and Ontario are reporting publicly daily out of a new system that is under continuous revision, and is being modified by Public Health staff and automated lab reporting processes throughout the day to conduct case management and contact tracing, and therefore all counts are subject to change, with each data extraction only a snapshot in time.
• As stated on Ontario.ca, “If there is a discrepancy between numbers reported here and those reported publicly by a Public Health Unit…consider the number reported by the Public Health Unit to be the most up to date.”