The BC Center for Disease Control has apologized after quietly changing its isolation guidelines online several times this week, at one point changing its advice for unvaccinated adults to twice a day.
The center issued a statement on Thursday acknowledging its flip-flopping changes “created confusion” at a time when patients and families are already feeling battered and burnt out.
“We apologize for the web posting and the changes that occurred yesterday. We understand the significant interest in these testing and isolation guidelines, which is why we immediately updated the website with clarifications made yesterday,” the statement read.
“We also recognize that people in British Columbia are frustrated by the ongoing pandemic, and that they want and need clear communication on the changes affecting their lives. We will try to ensure that for future changes Have a better change management process.”
On Tuesday, the Center updated its guidelines online, saying that people who test positive for COVID-19 can only isolate for five days, whether they have been vaccinated or not. But less than a day later, the post changed again: The advice for non-vaccinated adults was to isolate for 10 days after testing positive.
Guidance also changed for children and adolescents under the age of 17, reducing the period of isolation to five days, regardless of their vaccination status.
There was no news conference or public briefing on Wednesday to alert the public to the changes or explain the rationale.
On Thursday, Health Minister Adrian Dix agreed that the center had made an error.
“It was disappointing, it was his fault, he has apologized for it and we move on and do better,” Dix told reporters.
“What’s challenging… we’re two years into a pandemic and we’re all dealing with the consequences of that, the long-term stress of that,” he continued.
“There were some mistakes in terms of posting… things this week that cause some confusion and the sheer amount of work we’re communicating means that’s going to happen from time to time.”
Dix said there was no news conference on Wednesday because provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry had already talked about the change during news conferences on Friday and Monday.
The minister said it is customary to update advice online after Henry announces the changes, but experts and doctors say the changes need to come quickly – not several days later.
“When the people in the authority say that this is new guidance based on science, we need to do our best to ensure that the written documentation relating to those statements is updated as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Brian Said Conway, medical director of the Vancouver Infectious Disease Center.
Dix said the BCCDC’s online guidance on self-isolation was fine as of Thursday and in line with the province’s recommendations.
As of Wednesday, there were 895 people in hospital with COVID-19, according to the province. 115 of them were in intensive care, a 49.4 percent increase from the previous month, a statement said.
Experts say hospitalization is a more accurate barometer of the disease’s impact, as the number of new cases in B.C. is likely to be much higher than reported, now that the province has hit its testing limit due to an omicron surge. Have given.