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Thursday, April 18, 2024
Wacky Wednesday: Confusion arises as region changes how it reports COVID cases

Were you confused to see 245 active COVID-19 cases in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Wednesday?

You weren’t alone. Sharp-eyed residents reached out to The Lake Report to voice their confusion about an increase of about 200 active cases overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday.

But the confusion has been clarified by Niagara public health: It is all a result of a change in how the region will report cases.

“With the changing provincial response to the pandemic and the reduced availability of testing this month we have been reorganizing and refocusing our indicator page,” public health spokesperson Courtney Westerhof told The Lake Report in an email.

The region’s graphs will now display active cases over the past 28 days, she said.

“The ‘active cases in the past 28 days by municipality’ graph is identifying cases that have an outcome date ≥ 28 days or where a recovery status is not entered. These are considered cases that are active over the past 28-day period, but could include cases either reported to us before or during the time period,” Westerhof said.

There will also be a “total cases in the past 28 days by age group chart.”

“Today we understand some graphs may have caused a bit of confusion given the change in how we report cases. They have now been updated and additional revisions will be made to the definitions for clarity,” she said.

“In terms of the Niagara-on-the-Lake count, the noted difference is because of the switch to the 28-day time period. It’s not that there is all of a sudden 245 active cases today. It’s that in the past 28 days there have been 245 cases considered 'active' in Niagara-on-the-Lake.”

As for how many active cases there are in NOTL right now? We're not really sure anymore. The region's published data can be viewed at https://niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/statistics/statistics.aspx . 

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