Public Health Sudbury and District (PHSD) is changing the way it reports to the public and to the media on the incidence of new COVID-19 cases. Up until today (Monday Nov. 16), PHSD was reporting those incidents as they were confirmed. Sometimes it was during the day. Sometimes it was late in the evening.
Under the new procedure, the health unit said it will report those incidents twice daily on the PHSD website.
"The changes are being made to streamline our processes while at the same time ensure the public has timely access to important public health information," said a news release.
PHSD said it will post updated data on new COVID-19 cases Monday to Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. On weekends and statutory holidays, the updated report will be once daily at 4 p.m.
In addition, PHSD said it will also post a new weekly summary of any key developments, timely public health guidance, and relevant announcements. The weekly summary will be available online and shared proactively on social media and with local media every Thursday, said the news release.
More detailed COVID-19 data and analyses will continue to be available on the PHSD website within the detailed epidemiology summary, which will now be published twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays. These reports include information about cases over time, case characteristics (for example, age, sex), probable exposures, case outcomes, testing, and outbreaks in facilities.
Aside from all the planned announcements, the health unit said "We will immediately issue public notices if there are any urgent developments for public awareness or action."
Public Health Sudbury will also continue to report outbreaks in schools and long-term care homes. The PHSD website also reports community outbreaks or possible exposures for which Public Health is unable to contact everyone directly to advise them of their potential exposure to COVID-19, said the release.
"Our commitment is to protect the health of our communities, keep our communities informed, and ensure individuals’ rights to privacy are protected," the statement concluded.
Sudbury.com will continue to provide updates on new cases and outbreaks as Public Health releases the information.